Newark Mayor Cory Booker remains the favorite over former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan for the Oct. 16 special election to fill the New Jersey Senate seat formerly held by Frank Lautenberg.
Booker leads Lonegan by 35 percent, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll taken from Sept. 3 to Sept. 9. The lead has increased from previous polls, including a Fairleigh Dickinson poll taken between Aug. 21 and Aug. 27, which showed Booker with a lead of 28 percent, and a Monmouth poll taken between Aug. 15 and Aug. 18, which had Booker winning by 16 percent.
“Cory Booker has dedicated his life to the work of building hope and opportunity in communities where too little of either existed,” Obama said in a Booker campaign press release. The press release wrote that Booker could contribute to Obama's initiatives“to reduce gun violence, give every American a fair shot in the global economy and make our country stronger."
Booker has been endorsed by Representative Rush Holt,who represents Princeton's district,as well as Representative Frank Pallone, both of whom he defeated in the Aug. 13 primary.Booker did not respond to requests for comment.
However, Booker is not the only Senate candidate securing endorsements from Washington politicians.
Lonegan has recently been endorsed by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Interim Senator Jeff Chiesa, who was appointed by Christie to temporarily fill Lautenberg’s seat after his June 3 death, as well as Christie himself, formerly a rival of Lonegan’s during the 2009 Republican gubernatorial primary.
Lonegan said he felt "honored" by Paul's endorsement, including the recent events and TV appearances where Paul has promoted his candidacy.
Lonegan said he was optimistic in his campaign, despite his lag in the polls.
"The campaign is going extremely well," Lonegan said, explaining the main issues his campaign has emphasized."The three big issues are Obamacare, the NSA abuse of power, which also includes the IRS abuse of power, and of course our failed Middle Eastern policy."
Christie indicated that both he and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno would support Lonegan’s campaign. Guadagno is scheduled to appear at a Sept. 16 event for Lonegan, while Christie is scheduled to attend a Sept. 19 Lonegan fundraiser, according to Lonegan's campaign website.
This endorsement marked a clear shift from Christie’s attitude in June when he said at a news conference that his focus this fall would be on his own campaign, according to the Star-Ledger.
However, despite support from the Governor—who is likely to win his own Nov. 5 election—Lonegan has not been as successful as Booker at fundraising.
Booker currently has raised more than $8.5 million, with 99 percent of the total deriving from individual contributions, according to OpenSecrets. Lonegan has raised about $323,255, 33 percent of which is self-financed, according to OpenSecrets.
Booker and Lonegan are not only facing off in the Oct. 16 election—on Sept. 6, Lonegan filed a lawsuit against Booker to get Booker to release his expense reports, according to CBS New York. Booker spokesman James Allen told CBS New York that the city clerk’s office was collecting the expense reports and planned to release them soon.