Newark Mayor Cory Booker LAW ’97 has won the New Jersey special Senate race, defeating his opponent former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, a self-identified Tea Party Republican.

The victory did not come as a surprise for Booker who had been leading in the polls since winning the Democratic primary in August. Unusual for a city mayor, Booker has been a national figure for several years now in part because of his well-known biography as a Rhodes Scholar and Stanford football player and also his robust presence on social media sites such as Twitter and FaceBook.

Even before this Senate victory, political analysts and national media outlets had seen Booker as a rising political star with some seeing him as a prospective future presidential candidate.

Booker campaigned in part on ending child poverty and using government programs to bring manufacturing jobs back to America, said Jon Silverstone ’15, a leader of Students for Cory Booker, an independently-organized group that campaigned for the Mayor.

Booker was the Class Day speaker for the Class of 2013 commencement ceremony.