Democratic Senate Candidates Make Final Push Before Primary

By Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron
NJ Today

Cory Booker swung through the state on his campaign bus, pulling up at Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton around 2 p.m. He was welcomed by former Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer and told a room of about 40 residents of the inner city that a man had just asked him why he’s running for Senate instead of governor.

“And I was trying to explain to him that there’s two things that make it urgent to me. One is knowing that on the national stage, we have very few people that understand the urgencies that we live every single day with,” Booker said.

His overall message in these final days?

“I think the message is, look, we’ve got a Congress that’s not working right now and if you want something different, something new, someone who has a track record of bringing people together in a tough environment, tough economy, and making real change, this is the kind of change agent we need in Washington and I hope to be the next United States senator,” Booker said.

Frank Pallone meanwhile, was in Keansburg in his Congressional district, telling senior citizens about his role in creating Obamacare and telling us he’s optimistic about this primary.

“Well, I think I have a very good chance of winning tomorrow. I think that the movement really is in favor of me and I think part of the reason for that is because I’ve gotten the message out that I’m the experienced candidate who can get things done in Congress. The Lautenberg family helped a lot with their endorsement because they say I’m the go-to guy,” said Pallone.

“You know, I would caution any journalists or analysts not to write the election night story before election night,” said Rush Holt.

Holt was in his Congressional district at a diner in Ewing and aligning himself with the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg as well.

“I’m not running just to fill Frank Lautenberg’s vacancy. I’m running to continue his work — his work for environmental protections, for workers’ rights, for consumers’ rights, for public safety and public health,” Holt said.

Sheila Oliver primarily worked the media this morning and raised questions about Booker’s involvement in the tech start-up Waywire.

“I do have concerns about what your connections are to millionaires and billionaires. Does that mean that that represents the best interests of the citizens of our state or does that mean you beholden and bought by those interests?” Oliver asked.

“There’s a lot of information that’s been coming out about how he’s been running around the country making money for himself,” Pallone said.

“I say that this has been a campaign where we’ve talked about the issues and talked about the people of New Jersey. And all they’ve done is talk about me. And that’s unfortunate. We’ve gotta start talking to people about what we can do together,” said Booker.

So the Democratic candidates were out in force today. Whether many voters come out tomorrow for a mid-August election is still a question.