He did it! Cory Booker has succeeded in defeating Republican, Steve Lonegan, in becoming the senator-elect of the state of New Jersey for the Democratic party. Booker, 44, reportedly won with over 55 percent of the vote. The Associated Press was the first to name Booker the victor with the overwhelming majority of votes.
This day marks a historic feat for Booker, because as ABC news stated, “Booker is not only the first African-American U.S. senator from New Jersey, he is the first African-American to be nominated by a major party for a statewide office in New Jersey.”
Thank you so much, New Jersey. I'm proud to be your senator-elect: https://t.co/vs9ew7iOkd
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 17, 2013
Booker, who has become a sort of celebrity, served for 7 years as the mayor of Newark. In this position, he gained a lot of praise and speculation. Controversy took center stage when Mark Zuckerberg made a pledge to the Newark mayor to donate $100 million dollars (from Zuckerberg’s personal fortune) to the Newark School District. Booker has also been the target of ongoing questioning regarding his “single” status and possible homosexuality.
Booker who is fairly outspoken and has been appreciated for his ability to be frank and honest, shared with the Washington Post, ““...People who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful. Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia. I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I’m gay, and I say, ‘So what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I’m straight.’ ”
Booker could easily be dubbed a champion for the people due to the amount of support he’s received. Booker has rounded up over $11 million in campaign funds, makes regular visits to television networks and daytime talk shows and has the support of Hollywood heavyweights, such as Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.
Socially and arguably more importantly, it’s no secret that Booker is extremely active on social media with over 1.4 million Twitter followers. Booker is also following more than 75,000 people on the social networking site. His popularity among the general public reaches well beyond the Garden State and may have contributed largely to his victory today. It was reported that many of the donations towards his campaign as senator came from several out-of-state patrons.
One of Booker’s biggest supporters was President Obama who released a video message showing his support and urging voters to elect the Democratic candidate. His relationship with the president links back to when President Obama offered Booker a leadership position in the White House Office of Urban Affairs. Booker turned the position down citing his commitment to Newark, New Jersey.
Image credit: Twitter.com.