Battle for NJ Senate Heats Up as Booker Slams Lonegan on Shutdown

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In the race for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey, Newark Mayor Cory Booker is taking aim against opponent Steve Lonegan.

Booker says Lonegan's Tea Party allies are responsible for the stalemate in Congress, and if elected, the former mayor of Bogota would bring more of the same.

"He would join that radical fringe in Washington, D.C. right now with Ted Cruz and others that would hijack our government, shut it down, and end the vital programs for the people in the state of New Jersey that helps us build a strong economy at home," he said.

Lonegan, a Republican, told WNYC he's opposed to President Obama's health reforms, and would use his seat in the Senate to roll back regulations and reign in federal spending.

"I am supportive of doing whatever it takes to put an end to the runaway borrowing, massive spending, the explosion of debt, regulation and rules that are crushing this economy. If it takes a shutdown, then I will support it," he said. 

Lonegan has narrowed the lead Newark Mayor Cory Booker holds in the polls. A recent Monmouth University poll put Booker 13 points ahead of Lonegan, down from about 35 points earlier this summer. 

The special election to fill the late Senator Frank Lautenberg's seat is next Wednesday, October 16th.