Helping the middle class and defending Social Security are topping the issues in the new television commercials unveiled Monday by two Democrats in New Jersey's special United States Senate election.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker focused on bringing people together in his third television ad, while Rep. Frank Pallone used his first TV ad to promote his record in Congress and his upbringing as the son of a police officer. Booker and Pallone, along with Rep. Rush Holt and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver are running in the Aug. 13 special Democratic primary for the seat left vacant after the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) in June.
The winner will face the Republican primary winner, either former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan or physician Alieta Eck, in the Oct. 16 special election. Booker has a commanding lead in Democratic primary and general election polls.
Pallone, who has unveiled a series of online videos, stuck with his theme of being an average New Jersey resident in the new ad. He touts his family and background, along with his record in Congress, including fighting against the tea party and working on Obamacare.
“Frank Pallone stopped the tea party from wrecking Social Security," the ad says.
Booker's commercial zeros in on Social Security, and features the popular Newark mayor addressing a series of issues including equal pay, a higher minimum wage and ending child poverty to promote equality.
“No matter what your background, race, culture, gay or straight, North Jersey or South Jersey, rich or poor, are lives are interconnected," Booker said. "We cannot have politics that divide instead of bringing us together.”
Booker's insistence that he will stand up for Social Security follows Oliver's accusations that he is not answering her questions on the issue. Oliver, who has been lagging in the polls, attacked Booker for taking to Twitter to answer questions about the movie "Snarknado," yet failing to respond to her.
Pallone continues to emphasize his endorsement from the Lautenberg family, including a Monday event he has planned with Bonnie Lautenberg, the late senator's widow. Lautenberg and Booker feuded in the months prior to Lautenberg's death. While Pallone has picked up the family's backing, Essex County Freeholder Brendan Gill, who ran Lautenberg's state operation, has become a top political adviser to Booker.