- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2000

NEW YORK Jon Corzine, former co-chairman of Goldman, Sachs and Co., narrowly defeated Republican Rep. Bob Franks last night in a race for the U.S. Senate that shattered all campaign spending records.
With 76 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. Corzine had 50 percent, or 1,106,483 votes, and Mr. Franks 47 percent, or 1,032,825 votes. Mr. Franks would not concede immediately, but said he wanted to wait for more returns.
Although the TV networks projected Mr. Corzine as the winner just 26 minutes after the polls closed at 8 p.m., Mr. Franks did not concede until 11:15 p.m., choosing to await late results in this very tight race. Flanked by his family and Republican Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, Mr. Franks, who represents the 7th Congressional District and has won eleven successful races in his career, said Mr. Corzine was "a good and decent man" who had run a "terrific" race.
From the outset, Mr. Franks, a four-term congressman with little money compared with Mr. Corzine, was the underdog in this battle. Despite a hazy profile among voters, Mr. Franks trudged across the state, speaking to sparse crowds at railroad stations and diners, his favorite campaign locale.
Describing the people he met and the places he went during the campaign, he said, "We were outspent better than 10 to one. The assault on the airwaves, it never stopped. And the fact is that every pollster and pundit wrote us off months ago. But we never gave up and we stood by our principles and kept fighting. Yes, I lost the election tonight, but what I gained over the course of the last 14 months is something that $60 million will never be able to buy."
After Mr. Franks conceded at his headquarters in New Brunswick, Mr. Corzine kept his supporters waiting for 20 minutes, then made a triumphant entry into a ballroom in East Brunswick. Challenging the usual protocol, his wife, Joanne, spoke first, saying she knew that even though many people had talked about "the money," her husband had kept his focus on the issues. Mr. Corzine said he wanted to be a great senator in the footsteps of Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert G. Torricelli. Calling his campaign "a joyous journey," he repeated his calls for registering guns and expanding education and access to affirmative action.
Political analyst Hank Sheinkopf said Mr. Corzine's ubiquitous television ads determined the ultimate outcome. He also said the issue of "racial profiling" said to be practiced by the New Jersey police which was a factor among voters in the exit polls figured prominently in the race and benefited Mr. Corzine, who made an issue of it during the campaign.
The last Republican elected to the U.S. Senate from New Jersey was Clifford Case, a liberal Republican who served from 1955 to 1978. Mr. Case was defeated by conservative Republican Jeffrey Bell, who lost to Democrat Bill Bradley in the general election.
Mr. Corzine's bid to win the seat was crucial to Democratic efforts to wipe out the 54-46 Republican Senate majority.

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