SUMMIT, NJ - Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steven M. Lonegan garnered the most votes in Summit as the special primary election was held. The overall top Democrat and Republican candidates will run in a special election Oct. 16 to fill the seat vacated by five-time Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, who passed away on June 3.
Booker received 600 total votes, far outdistancing his nearest opponent, Rush Holt, who received 184. In the Republican vote, Lonegan totaled 344 votes compared to Alieta Eck who received 81. Voter turnout was 9.6% of all registered voters in Summit.
The victorious candidate will serve as U.S. Senator until January 2015, and would have to run again in the fall 2014 elections to serve a full six-year term. October's special election is estimated to cost New Jersey $24 million, and is taking place just three weeks before the regularly-scheduled November elections. Since Lautenberg's death, the Senate seat has been held by former state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, who was appointed on June 6 by Governor Chris Christie to serve until the elected winner can be sworn in. At the time of his appointment, Chiesa indicated that he would not be a candidate in the special election.