With only 6 percent of the votes counted, The Associated Press declared Newark Mayor Cory Booker and former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan the winners of today’s U.S. Senate primaries.
With 90 percent of the precincts reporting, Booker was taking about 60 percent of the vote in a four-candidate field. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. was second with 20 percent, while Rep. Rush D. Holt was at 16 percent and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver was below 5 percent.
Booker defeated three experienced politicians, U.S. Reps. Rush Holt and Frank Pallone and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver in a Democratic primary that may have been more competitive had the field been less crowded. The race was a major draw for them partly because of New Jersey's history of electing only Democrats to the Senate over the past 40 years.
The 113th United States Congress marks the first time that two African Americans have served concurrently in the United States Senate; neither was elected by popular vote. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Mo Cowan of Massachusetts, were both appointed by their state's governors to fill the terms of Jim DeMint and John Kerry, respectively, who had resigned their positions.
Of the eight African-Americans who have served in the Senate only three were elected by popular vote. The first African-American United States Senator to be elected by popular vote was Edward Brooke of Massachusetts who took office in 1967. Carol Moseley Braun and Barack Obama were both elected by the voters of Illinois, entering the Senate in 1993 and 2004.
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