Long-time ally of the LGBT community, and Newark, NJ Mayor, Cory Booker has won the run off election for the state’s senate seat.
%55 of the votes went to the man known for his unique work in the state and in his community – Booker used private funds to help prop up city programs, welcomed disaster survivors into his home, and is known for his vegetarianism and being a long-time bachelor.
Booker took to Twitter to thank his supporters shortly after the announcement:
Booker’s win is a landmark for another reason – he has become NJ’s first black senator.
His opponent in the senate race, Steve Lonegan, ran a vastly different campaign. A stark conservative and former director of NJ’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity , Lonegan made a name for himself when he tried to make english the official language of Bogata, NJ – a fight he eventually lost.
Lonegan also was not afraid to publicly accost Booker over his long time bachelor status, often questioning the known-ally’s sexuality. An LGBTQ Nation story from August highlighted the numerous attacks Lonegan lobbed against Booker’s identity:
Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, N.J., said he didn’t read the profile and doesn’t know if Booker is straight or gay, but in an interview on Steve Malzberg’s Newsmax talk show, brought up an old interview in which Booker said he likes to get manicures and pedicures.
“Maybe that helps to get him the gay vote, by acting ambiguous,” Lonegan said.
Booker’s senate term will only run for 15 months, however, and he will face another ballot challenge in Nov. 2014.