Four Democrats and two Republicans met the Monday deadline to enter the special New Jersey Senate race to fill the seat left vacant by the death last week of Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
According to CBS News
in New York, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, and U.S. Reps. Rush Holt and Frank Pallone will face off against one another in the Democratic primary Aug. 13.
On the Republican side, former Bogota mayor and two-time gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan will face tea party candidate Alieta Eck, a Somerset physician.
Lonegan signaled his possible campaign strategy if he defeats Eck in the primary. He intends to link them to President Barack Obama.
"I don't care which of the Democrats win that primary," he said. "They're all the same. They're all rubber stamps for Barack Obama."
On the Democratic side, Booker is considered to be the strongest candidate in the race and a rising star within the party. He said he hopes to bring a fresh, pragmatic voice to Washington, where he said "too many have come to believe ... nothing can get done."
But Reps. Pallone and Holt each said they best represent the progressive Democratic legacy of Lautenberg, noting that they often worked together with the senator on legislation.
Oliver, meanwhile, said she hopes to become the Garden State's first female U.S. senator.
"I am committed to see this state send a woman to Congress," she said. "I think it should be a priority of my party."
Following the August primary, the Republican and Democratic winner will have roughly two months to campaign before the special general election called by Gov. Chris Christie takes place on Oct. 16.
Between now and then, Lautenberg's seat is being filled temporarily by New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, who was appointed by Christie.
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