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Cory Booker Gets Former Governor’s Backing #NJSEN

Booker's position in the polls has improved.
Booker's position in the polls has improved.

Former Gov. Richard Codey is backing Newark Mayor Cory Booker in New Jersey’s Senate special election.

The endorsement, announced by the Booker campaign Tuesday, comes two weeks before the Aug. 13 Democratic primary. Booker has held wide leads in every public poll released since the campaign kicked off in early June, and he was just endorsed by his hometown newspaper, the Newark Star-Ledger.

“For more than a decade, Cory Booker has worked tirelessly to bring people together and find solutions to the challenges facing Newark families,” said Codey, a longtime state legislator who served as acting governor from November 2004 to January 2006. “That’s exactly the kind of leadership that our state needs in Washington right now.”

Booker’s top primary competitors, who were vastly outraised by Booker in the second fundraising quarter, were both scheduled to hold notable events Tuesday.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. will be endorsed by and campaign alongside former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., on Tuesday afternoon. They’ll tour the University Behavioral Health Center in Piscataway to highlight their joint efforts to push mental-health legislation in Congress.

On Tuesday evening, Rep. Rush D. Holt is holding a town hall event called “Geek Out Live” at Mercer County Community College. The event will feature panelists — appearing either in-person or streaming online — including former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald and several academics.

Pallone also released his second TV ad of the campaign on Tuesday, pitching his life — the son of a cop and needing student loans to go to college — as “a typical Jersey story.” He says later, “New Jersey needs a senator who drives a Chevy. Let the other guys take the limo.”

The primary winner will likely face conservative activist Steve Lonegan in the Oct. 16 special election to replace the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg. The race is rated Safe Democrat by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.