Newark Mayor Cory Booker, after comfortably leading in the polls, won the New Jersey special election for the Senate on Wednesday according to the AP. He defeated Republican Steve Lonegan with 55.4 percent of the vote, compared to the GOP candidate's 43.6 percent, after just over 50 percent of the votes were counted.
In other words, Buzzfeed did not end Booker's chances at the Senate by pointing out that he once tweeted a stripper. Nor was Lonegan's campaign able to successfully leverage that revelation to make voters stay away from Booker. Obviously, Booker responded to his victory on Twitter:
Thank you so much, New Jersey. I'm proud to be your senator-elect: https://t.co/vs9ew7iOkd— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 17, 2013
Booker becomes the eighth black senator in U.S. history — and only the fourth to be elected to the position. According to the Senate website, here's how those eight senators compare to every person elected in the senate's history. The blue slice below represents the four elected black senators. The red slice, those appointed. The yellow slice is every non-black senator.
The new Senator will take Frank Lautenberg's seat. Lautenberg, a Democrat, died in June. Because his seat is currently filled by an interim Republican appointed by Gov. Chris Christie, Booker's election will restore the Senate to a 55-45 party balance, with the advantage going to the Democrats.
Booker spent less than $1 million on television ads during the special election campaign, according to Politico. Lonegan tapped into the nation's network of conservative celebrities, gaining the endorsement of Sarah Pailin.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.