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Booker Returns To Campaigning As Lonegan Holds Ocean County Rally In Final Weekend Of Senate Race

Candidates Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan are both on the road for the final weekend of campaigning in New Jersey’s special Senate election as the Republican fires a key advisor over comments made about Booker.

Steve Lonegan with Sarah Palin at rally in New Egypt
Steve Lonegan with Sarah Palin at rally in New Egypt (Twitter)

Sarah Palin told a Tea Party Express-sponsored rally at the New Egypt Speedway that the entire nation is watching the race. “You have the momentum with Steve’s campaign,” Palin told the crowd estimated at 2,000.. “The rest of the country knows it.” Talk show host Mark Levin also addressed the crowd.

Lonegan also made appearances in Woodbridge, Jackson, Spring Lake and Seaside Heights on Saturday.

Booker, whose father passed away on Thursday, is takng his campaign bus on a 4 day tour of New Jersey leading to Wednesday’s vote. He started his day at the Women’s Leadership Breakfast in Paterson with Democrat gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono. He then heads out to Passaic, Morristown, Bergenfield and Harrington Park, Booker’s hometown, reports the Star Ledger.

Running On Love

Cory Booker campaigns in Passaic
Cory Booker campaigns in Passaic (Twitter)

He acknowledged his father’s death at a stop in Patterson. “Today as I still mourn the death of my dad — who provided me warmth and love — I still feel that warmth and love,” Booker said according to the Star Ledger. “It’s been a difficult two days. It’s still sort of fresh.”

He also responded to Lonegan’s rtemark during their Wednesday night debate about bodies in the Passaic River. “I can’t believe he spoke about our cities like he did — calling Newark a black hole with bodies in the (Passaic) river,” he said, adding that “My opponent needs some love. He needs a lot of love,” he added, to a ripple of laughter from the crowd.

Longegan Fires Top Advisor

Steve Lonegan at the Walk For Life in Iselin on Saturday
Steve Lonegan at the Walk For Life in Iselin on Saturday (Facebook)

Following comments made during an interview with the website Talking Points, Lonegan terminated the contract of top advisor Rick Shaftan. In an interview with TalkingPointsMemo.com, Shaftan used raw language to describe why he believes the revelation that Booker was exchanging Twitter messages with a Portland, Oregon stripper helped close the poll gap with Booker.

Shaftan took issue with how Booker reacted. “It was like kind of like, I don’t know, it was like what a gay guy would say to a stripper. It’s the way he was talking to her. It’s just like like there was no sexual interest at all. I don’t know. To me, if I was single and you know like some stripper was tweeting me, I might take advantage of the perks of the office, you know?”

Lonegan later said Shaftan’s comments “are not reflective of my views or that of my campaign. His comments are distasteful and offensive, and his contract as a vendor for my campaign will be terminated immediately,” Lonegan said.

A Farleigh-Dickinson poll released during the week gives Booker a 16-point lead going into Wednesday’s vote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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