The Democratic Special Primary for U.S. Senate just got a whole lot more interesting and a whole lot more competitive.
The Star Ledger is reporting that Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver has collected 1500 signatures and will file as a candidate on Monday. She will compete with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Congressman Frank Pallone and Congressman Rush Holt in the August 13 primary for the Democratic nomination to fill the Senate vacancy cause by Frank Lautenberg’s death.
Oliver, of East Orange, cuts into Booker’s base of African-American and urban voters far more powerfully than the suburban congressmen, Pallone and Holt.
In the Republican Special Primary, former GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan and newcomer Dr. Aleita Eck of Piscataway are expected to file their petitions in Trenton tomorrow.
Bayshore Tea Party co-flounders Barbara Gonzalez and Bob Gordon, former State Senate candidate Leigh-Ann Bellew and former Assembly candidate Edna Walsh announced their endorsement of Eck on Sunday evening. Bellew and Walsh lost the GOP primary in the 13th Legislative District last week by a 80-20 margin, with the support of the Bayshore Tea Party.