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Cory Booker will soon be New Jersey’s first Black Senator. Yesterday (Oct. 17), the Mayor of Newark, NJ defeated Steve Lonegan in a special election to represent New Jersey in the U. S. Senate after the death of  Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died in office this past June.

Reports the Associated Press:

The Newark mayor takes to Washington a national profile – boosted by a strong social media presence, frequent television appearances and his status as a surrogate for Barack Obama during the president’s 2012 re-election campaign – just as the federal government begins functioning again after a 16-day shutdown.

“That’s why I’m going to Washington – to take back that sense of pride,” Booker said in his victory speech. “Not to play shallow politics that’s used to attack and divide but to engage in the kind of hard, humble service that reaches out to others.”

Booker, a supporter of gay marriage in a state where the issue is the subject of a court and legislative fight, talked about needing to improve America’s schools and making the Senate “more accessible to all of us.”

“If you voted for me, I will make you proud,” he said. “If you didn’t vote for me I will work every single day to earn your trust.”

Newark’s city council will appoint an interim mayor after Booker, 44, formally steps down from his post. The Yale Law School graduate is expected to be sworn in as a senator by the end of the month.

Photo: Twitter