- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 7, 2000

NEW YORK Jon S. Corzine, a former Wall Street tycoon who spent millions on his efforts to become a candidate for the U.S. Senate, won the New Jersey Democratic primary election yesterday.

With 46 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Corzine led former Gov. James Florio with 124,405 votes, or 60 percent.

Mr. Corzine set a record for financing a Senate race, spending an estimated $34 million so far of his half-billion-dollar personal fortune.

His primary spending alone which could work out to as much as $100 per vote shattered the previous U.S. record for an entire Senate race $30 million spent by Republican Michael Huffington in his losing 1994 bid for office in California.

As the nominee of his party, Mr. Corzine, 53, will oppose the winner of the Republican primary in November. The results of yesterday's GOP primary were not clear.

Among the Republican contenders, Rep. Bob Franks, 48, and state Sen. William L. Gormley, 54, were considered the front-runners, ahead of Essex County Executive James W. Treffinger, 50, and former Libertarian Murray Sabrin, 53, the only pro-life candidate.

"Success is an aspiration that all of us salute," said outgoing Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, in defense of Mr. Corzine's spectacular spending. It is Mr. Lautenberg's seat that the former chairman of Goldman Sachs & Co. is seeking.

Pollster John Zogby said Mr. Florio's loss was influenced by the resentment many Democrats still feel over the former governor's notorious tax increase a decade ago the largest in the state's history.

Mr. Corzine's win, he added, "has got to be good news for Al Gore," because Mr. Corzine has lavished huge sums of money on the Democratic organization in the primary campaign and probably will do it again for the general election.

Reports said voter turnout was light as heavy rains persisted throughout the day.

In another bitter primary fight in New Jersey, 10-term centrist Republican Rep. Marge Roukema pulled ahead of conservative state Assemblyman Scott Garrett.

And two former Republican congressmen fought for the nomination to challenge first-term Democratic Rep. Rush D. Holt.

The Democratic Senate race, however, was the highlight of primary voting in six states yesterday.

In other primary contests around the nation:

• Alabama Circuit Judge Roy Moore, who fought the American Civil Liberties Union in 1995 to post the Ten Commandments in his courtroom, was leading in the race for the Republican nomination for chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

With more than half of precincts reporting, Judge Moore had 52,423 votes, or 53 percent, of the vote.

Judge Moore needed at least 50 percent to avoid a runoff June 27, with the winner going to the general election Nov. 7.

• In Montana, Democratic farmer Brian Schweitzer made the high price of prescription medicine the theme of his Senate campaign, taking buses of seniors to Canada to highlight the price differences. He was expected to win the nomination and face two-term Republican Sen. Conrad Burns in the fall.

• In New Mexico, three Republicans sought the nomination to challenge three-term Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman.

• In Iowa, two Republicans sought the nomination to challenge two-term Democratic Rep. Leonard L. Boswell.

• In the race for South Dakota's lone House seat, three Democrats sought the nomination to challenge two-term Republican Rep. John Thune.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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