Democrat Cory Booker has won the race against Republican Steve Lonegan to be the next U.S. Senator from New Jersey.
Booker, currently serving as mayor of Newark, was declared the winner by the AP Wednesday night. He will take the seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), who died in June.
After casting his vote early on Wednesday, Booker said his race against Lonegan “is the only election in America right now where we will get a chance to make a statement about what is going on in Washington.
“This is a chance for us to send a message about the shutdown, about the gridlock, about all those forces that my opponent represents — the tea party — that says we shouldn’t compromise, we shouldn’t work together,” Booker said.
The election is the first since the federal government shut down more than two weeks ago. Results came hours after Senate leaders announced a deal had been struck to reopen the government and avert a Treasury default.
During his campaign, Lonegan touted his conservative ties, rallying for votes with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R)