Newark mayor and LGBT ally Cory Booker won the United States Senate election in New Jersey with 55 percent of the vote on October 16, defeating his conservative opponent, Steve Lonegan, who had 44 percent of the vote.
“Thank you so much, New Jersey, I’m proud to be your Senator-elect,” Booker tweeted after winning the election.
Frank R. Lautenberg, who passed away in June, originally filled the New Jersey seat.
“Despite the cynicism and the negativity we often see on TV, despite a special election, New Jerseyans, hundreds of thousands, rejected all that and came out and voted,” Booker said during his victory speech at the Prudential Center in Newark. “But more than that, you didn’t just vote, but you believed that your voice and your vote mattered.”
Booker has utilized social media extensively in his campaign to win the seat, having acquired over 1.4 million Twitter followers. Lonegan criticized his opponent’s strategy on October 4, saying “we need a leader, not a tweeter.”
Booker’s sexuality has also been a topic of debate during the race. Rachel Maddow came out on October 15 saying, “Also, for the record, Cory’s not gay.”
Booker will have to run again in November 2014 to secure a full six-year tenure.