Lautenberg Family Snubs Booker With Pallone Endorsement

Monday, 08 Jul 2013 02:46 PM

By Audrey Hudson

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Newark Mayor Cory Booker won't be getting any support from the family of New Jersey's former Sen. Frank Lautenberg, whose recent passing has ignited a contentious political battle within the Democratic Party to retain his seat.

The Hill reported Monday that the influential family has snubbed Booker citing his "celebrity" status and instead endorsed Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone.

"Frank Pallone, like our Frank, will put in the hours and hard work necessary to fight for New Jersey in the Senate," the family said in a statement.

"And Frank Pallone knows that gimmicks and celebrity status won't get you very far in the real battles that Democrats face in the future," the family said.

The announcement came as a surprise to political insiders, given Booker's lead in recent polls as high as 40 percent over other contenders including Pallone.

Booker's star power appears to be the very thing to which Lautenberg's family objects.

"While it may not always attract glamorous headlines Frank knows that to be effective you must put New Jersey and your principles first, not your own glory," the family said.

Salon reports that Booker's high-profile image has already become a campaign theme for another Democratic challenger, Rep. Rush Holt.

"I'll be the first to admit I'm not Cory Booker," Holt says in a TV ad.

"I don't have a million twitter followers. I've never run into a burning building. And I'm not friends with Mark Zuckerberg, though I did like him on Facebook," Holt said.

Lautenberg was 89-years-old and the oldest member of the Senate when he died last month of pneumonia.

Booker, Holt, and Pallone are the three contenders in an August primary to fill the seat.

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