TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New Jersey U.S. Senate race was in a fight to the finish Tuesday, a day before voters were set to head to the polls in a special election.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, Democrat Cory Booker is hitting the Democrat-favoring communities of Belleville, New Brunswick, Hoboken and Newark, where he is mayor.
Republican Steve Lonegan is campaigning Tuesday in Basking Ridge, Flemington, Belvidere, Morristown and Middletown — all places where Republicans usually get the most votes. He’s also stopping in Jersey City.
Lonegan also received the endorsement of former Jersey City Acting Mayor Joe Rokawski. And Lonegan attacked Booker for his performance as Newark mayor.
“Two people were shot to death on the streets of Newark last night. Unemployment in Newark has gone from 8 to 14 percent,” Lonegan said. “Mr. Booker has failed Newark. That’s extreme. See, he’s an extreme failure.”
Booker fired back, calling Lonegan extreme as he met with senior citizens in Newark.
“He is the leader of the tea party in New Jersey, period,” Booker said. “Do we want to send the tea party to Washington that is continuing to shut down our government?”
Booker also took issue with Lonegan’s claims about his record as Newark mayor.
“Shootings are down 27 percent in Newark. That is a fact. Murders are down over 15 percent, that’s a fact,” Booker said. “What we need in Washington isn’t someone who talks down to our cities and gives such negative characterizations.”
During a stop in Little Falls, Booker said the special election is about more than just Booker versus Lonegan.