Republican Steve Lonegan was defeated by Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) in the race to become the next U.S. Senator from New Jersey.
The two faced off at the polls in a special election that took place Wednesday. Booker will take the Senate seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), who passed away in June 2013.
Lonegan waged a tough campaign against Booker. The AP reports:
Throughout the campaign, Lonegan was aggressive, criticizing Booker during a string of homicides in Newark, holding a red carpet event in rally to mock the time Booker spent fundraising in California and declaring that "New Jersey needs a leader, not a tweeter."
Lonegan also criticized Booker when a Portland, Ore., stripper revealed a series of not-so-salacious Twitter messages she'd exchanged with Booker, who's single. The topic resurfaced last week when Lonegan fired a key adviser after a profane interview in which the adviser suggested Booker's words were "like what a gay guy would say to a stripper."
Lonegan had called it "strange" that Booker won't say whether he's gay. Booker, for his part, has said his sexuality should not matter to voters and has been elusive on the subject.
At a debate this month, Lonegan responded to Booker's comments about the need for environmental regulations to clean a river through Newark. "You may not be able to swim in that river," he said. "But it's probably, I think, because of all the bodies floating around of shooting victims in your city."
Booker will become the first black Senator from New Jersey, and the fourth African-American elected to the U.S. Senate.