match his fame.
Along with Christie, he is one of New Jersey's two nationally known politicians.
Lonegan is less glamorous. The former head of the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a tea party-aligned activist group, he has twice been rejected by GOP primary voters and became the favorite in this race when more moderate, establishment Republicans chose to sit out.
He poses a different type of challenge from the Democrats who ran against Booker. While Booker's party colleagues were slow to attack, Lonegan is always eager for confrontation and has a talent for political showmanship.
Booker said he would "match his negative attacks with positive vision," though Democratic groups were already lining up attacks.
Lonegan has a devoted conservative following but will have to reach far beyond his own base.
New Jersey has 700,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans and has not elected a Republican to the Senate since 1972. A Quinnipiac poll released last Wednesday gave Booker a 54-29 lead over Lonegan, and the Newark mayor had $4.1 million on hand as of late July, compared with $151,000 for Lonegan.
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, who repeatedly said he would fight for Lautenberg's legacy, vowed to return to Congress "to make sure the families and little guy are who we are looking out for."
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, in Princeton, criticized the primary schedule, calling the campaign "all too brief," but said his candidacy moved the race beyond "platitudes and rhetoric."
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver finished last in the Democratic race.
Both Booker and Lonegan enter the special general election matchup nursing wounds from the primary's final days.
Booker's financial dealings have come under scrutiny after revelations that an Internet start-up he partially owns received generous funding from Silicon Valley moguls, potentially making the mayor wealthy, and that while in office he kept receiving income from his former law firm, even as the firm won contracts from Newark authorities that Booker had some influence over.
Lonegan, meanwhile, has been trying to tamp down criticism over a racially charged tweet his campaign sent out last week. Lonegan said there was no racist intent and has dismissed the issue as a "tempest in a teapot."
Booker's campaign and even Christie -- who is running as a moderate Republican -- have been critical. The tweet was quickly deleted but could still feed into Democrats' argument that Lonegan is too divisive to represent a multicultural state such as New Jersey.
The tweet was labeled as Booker's foreign policy debate prep notes and featured a map of Newark with parts labeled "West Africa, Guyana, Portugal, Brazil."
Also Tuesday, six independent candidates filed to run in the special general election.
Contact Jonathan Tamari at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @JonathanTamari. Read his blog "Capitol Inq" at www.inquirer.com/CapitolInq.
Inquirer staff writers Andrew Seidman, Sean Carlin and Theodore Schleifer contributed to this article.
(c)2013 The Philadelphia Inquirer
Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.philly.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Most Popular Stories
- 15 Myths That Could Ruin Your Hispanic Ad Campaign
- General Motors Names Mary Barra as First Female CEO
- Cold Dis-comfort: Antarctica Set Record of -135.8
- Obama Delivers Speech at Mandela Memorial: Transcript
- Uruguay Gets Ready for Legal Marijuana
- Oldaker Takes Center Stage at Entrepreneur Awards
- Slow Week Ahead of December FOMC Meeting
- Hispanics Seek to Grow School Board Members
- Russia Says Nyet to Canada North Pole Claim
- 'Knockout Game': Myth or Menace?