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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.

Cory Booker at the Senator Nellie Pou breakfast in Paterson
Cory Booker at the Senator Nellie Pou breakfast in Paterson (@Booker4Senate via Twitter)

Booker, whose father passed away on Thursday, is taking 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.

Lonegan hold what he calls “the largest grassroots rally in New Jersey history” sponsored by Tea Party Express at the New Egypt Speedway featuring former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and talk show host Mark Levin.

“I am honored to have Governor Palin join us for the largest grass-roots campaign event in New Jersey history,” Lonegan said. “While Joe Biden uses the excuse of a government shutdown to avoid an embarrassing reception campaigning for Cory Booker, I am proud to have the opportunity to stand next to a great conservative leader who should have been the Vice President as we go into the final hundred hours til victory on Wednesday, October 16th.”

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

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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