Newark Mayor Cory Booker won a resounding victory in yesterday's Democratic primary to fill the seat of the late Frank Lautenberg who died in office earlier this year. Booker got 60% of the vote with Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr (D-NJ) coming in second with 20%, despite the fact that Lautenberg's family had endorsed him. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), came in third with 17%.
The special election is Oct. 16, when Booker will face an unknown Republican mayor, Steve Lonegan. Booker is virtually certain to win it, bringing the Democrats' strength in the Senate back to 55 seats. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) chose the Oct. 16 date for the special election rather than having it on the same day as the general election three weeks later because he himself is on the ballot in November and he wasn't keen on having lots of Democrats show up in November to vote for Booker and while they were at it, to also vote for Christie's opponent, state senator Barbara Buono. Thus the state will have to spend millions of dollars extra to run two elections within 3 weeks, but that is surely a small price to pay to ensure Christie's reelection, which looks certain at this point.