The family of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) announced its support for Rep. Frank Pallone's (D-N.J.) Senate candidacy in a Monday statement, The Hill reports.

In the statement, Lautenberg's family lauded Pallone's ability to "put in the hours and hard work necessary to fight for New Jersey in the Senate":

After [Lautenberg] announced his retirement, he spoke often about his desire that his replacement in the Senate respect those core principles and continue his work. Deciding which candidate to endorse was not an easy decision. Most of the candidates in the Democratic field have proven themselves as hardworking, progressive leaders who care deeply about New Jersey. But only one of them stands out as ready to continue Frank Lautenberg’s progressive leadership in the U.S. Senate. That candidate is Congressman Frank Pallone. We are saying: Stick with Frank.

The family chose to endorse Pallone over Newark Mayor Cory Booker, with whom Lautenberg had feuded in the past. In January, Booker angered Lautenberg when he announced his intent to run for Senate before Lautenberg had made a decision about retiring from office.

Booker, who is currently leading Pallone in the polls, has been criticized for using his celebrity status and connections to maintain his influence. The Lautenberg family echoed that criticism in its statement.

"Frank Pallone knows that gimmicks and celebrity status won’t get you very far in the real battles that Democrats face in the future," the family said in the statement.

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