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NJ voters make party picks for Senate today, but will anyone show up?

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New Jersey voters will hit the polls today in primary elections to fill the Senate seat left by the late Frank Lautenberg, but Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s popularity among Democrats and dog days of summer may suppress turnout, according to the state’s largest newspaper.

“Unfortunately, the exercise in democracy is competing with family vacations, the rhythm of the surf, the smell of burgers on the grill and summer blockbusters on the big screen,” the Star-Ledger of Newark reported.

The report said the date chosen by Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, may result in record-low turnout, as Mr. Booker takes on Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver on the Democratic side.

The well-known mayor is considered the front-runner to succeed Lautenberg, a long-serving senator who died at the age of 89 on June 3.

Mr. Booker recently told MSNBC he wants to be a workhorse legislator who gets things done, instead of the kind who throws “Molotov cocktails” to draw attention to himself. 

Mr. Christie appointed Jeffrey Chiesa, a Republican and state attorney general at the time, to fill the Senate seat until voters pick a full-time replacement this fall.

 

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