Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the Democratic candidate in the Oct. 16 special election for the New Jersey Senate seat formerly held by Frank Lautenberg, made a campaign stop with Rep. Rush Holt in Princeton on Saturday afternoon.
Booker spent approximately two hours in Princeton meeting residents and students on Nassau Street, chatting with locals at Small World Coffee, speaking in a small gathering with some members of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization and visiting the Pins and Needles store on Chambers Street.
Booker was recognized by most passersby, who stopped to shake his hand, have a short conversation and take pictures.
To the few who did not immediately recognize Booker, Holt introduced him as “the next senator.” Booker is currently polling with 64 percent of the vote, while Republican candidate Steve Lonegan follows with 29 percent, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll taken between Sept. 3 and Sept. 9.
Holt, who ran against Booker in the August Democratic primary for the seat, has since endorsed Booker and pledged to help him win the general election, according to a Holt campaign press release.
Miranda Rehaut ’16, who met Booker at the event, noted the cordial rapport he had with Holt.
"I think that really shows a lot to me about the way Congressman Holt is about putting aside politics and being a friend to other politicians," Rehaut said. "They did have a pretty contentious primary, and the fact that they're now supporting each other is pretty incredible."
Avery Stewart ’16, a Booker supporter from Connecticut, attended the event, shaking Booker’s hand and taking a photo with him.
Stewart was also signing people up to register to vote in New Jersey. She is planning to change her registration to New Jersey, and she would like to see more students do the same.
“I just think, as a university, we could definitely use some more civic engagement. It would be great to see a lot more students voting locally,” Stewart said.
College Democrats supports Booker’s candidacy and plans to campaign on his behalf, Will Mantell ’14, the president of College Democrats, explained.
“It's sort of a no-brainer, especially when you look at his competitor. Ultimately, he is espousing the policies that we believe in — versus Steve Lonegan, who is an ultra-conservative candidate who, you know, has basically approached the race with this sort of ‘cut, cut, cut’ mentality that is paralyzing the Congress right now.”
The student group plans to participate in phone banking and door-to-door canvassing for Booker, as well as for N.J. gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono, Mantell explained. It will also participate in a non-partisan voter registration drive with College Republicans and P-Votes.
“Hopefully, we're going to get a lot of people registered, and sort of just based on the numbers of the Princeton campus, hopefully a lot of those folks are going to end up voting for Booker and Buono,” he said.