The family of the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has endorsed Rep. Frank Pallone in the Aug. 13 Democratic primary of the race to replace Lautenberg. In the process, they took a shot at overwhelming favourite Newark Mayor Cory Booker in the process.
Here’s the statement, in part, which was released by Pallone’s campaign:
“Frank Lautenberg followed three fundamental principles as New Jersey’s U.S. senator: Stay true to his progressive values, put New Jersey first, and be a workhorse, not a show horse. […]
“Frank Pallone knows that gimmicks and celebrity status won’t get you very far in the real battles that Democrats face in the future. Frank Pallone worked with Frank Lautenberg for many years. He understands what it takes to take on and defeat Republicans and the special interests that attack the well being of working families. While it may not always attract glamorous headlines, Frank knows that to be effective you must put New Jersey and your principles first, not your own glory. When New Jersey Democrats examine the Senate candidates closely, they may be surprised to find out that not all of them share core Democratic values or loyalty to the party.”
The statement from members of Lautenberg’s family continues a months-long tiff between the Booker and Lautenberg camps. Back in December, Booker announced that he would “explore the possibility” of running for Senate, prompting Lautenberg to accuse Booker of trying to nudge him out of the seat before he announced his future intentions.
Lautenberg announced in February that he planned to retire instead of seeking a sixth term in office. He died early last month, prompting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to call for a special election to replace him.
In early polling, Booker looks like he should be able to breeze to victory. In a Quinnipiac University poll released in mid-June, Booker grabbed 53% of the Democratic vote to Pallone’s 9%.
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