With a week and a half to go until New Jersey's special United States Senate primary, Democratic frontrunner Cory Booker has unveiled two new web videos, while his top challenger's latest ad targets voters in the state's urban areas.
Booker, the popular Newark mayor, released two videos on his campaign website Friday in which a business owner and his pastor give testimonials about why he should be a senator. U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, who is second to Booker in recent polls, released a radio ad the same day highlighting why he is a better choice for urban voters.
Rep. Rush Holt and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver also are running in the primary, which was called following the June death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D). Booker is leading by more than 30 points in recent polls.
In the Booker testimonials, known as "Voices For Cory," Audible CEO Dan Katz and David Jefferson, pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church, explain why Booker's personal characteristics would make him a good senator. Jefferson talks about working with Booker in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and calls the mayor "God-fearing." Katz says that Booker has worked to promote the business environment in Newark. He also praises Booker as bipartisan.
“I’ve introduced him to people across the aisle from him politically, consistently, and they always find things that he is saying that they completely agree about, that they can be shoulder to shoulder on," Katz said. "His ability to make these kinds of alliances is clearly an important skill to take to Washington.”
Pallone, who has been endorsed by Lautenberg's family, did not specifically mention Booker in his latest ad, but draws on a common Booker criticism, saying New Jersey does not need a senator who is close to Wall Street. Booker opponents have repeatedly noted that he receives campaign support from those in the financial services sector.
"We need a senator who looks out for the people he serves, not himself," according to a transcript released by the Pallone campaign. "We need a senator who will stand with President Obama, not side with Wall Street."
Pallone highlights education, health care, the minimum wage and Social Security in the ad, which will air in urban markets. Countering Pallone's emphasis on the urban vote, Booker adviser Brendan Gill told NJTV this week that Booker has "tremendous experience" in urban issues from his work as mayor and would be able to start a conversation on the subject in the Senate.
“One of the exciting things I am excited about is to have someone who has worked extensively on urban issues and bring that conversation to the United States Senate," Gill said.