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NJ Senate Debate A Study In Opposites

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Newark Mayor Cory Booker File Photo (credit: Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker File Photo (credit: Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

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By Pat Loeb

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – New Jersey voters got a distinct choice in the debate between the candidates for U.S. Senate that was broadcast Sunday, as each attacked the other as an “extremist.”

“In this election, New Jersey could not have a clearer choice,” Newark mayor Cory Booker said.

Booker led off the debate with a statement whose accuracy became more clear as the debate went on. He focused on his mayoral experience and said he attracted business to Newark by investing in infrastructure and education. His opponent, Steve Lonegan, spotlighted his background in business and called for slashing taxes and regulation to improve the economy.

They were asked about immigration, same-sex marriage, education, gun control, federal entitlements and national security. Lonegan summed up their responses:

“It’s pretty clear here, I’m the conservative; he’s the far left liberal, we’ll make no doubt about that.”

Booker characterized them differently, portraying himself as a conciliator and Lonegan as far right:

“Sending my opponent down to Washington to join the fringe group of tea party people would make what’s wrong with Washington worse.”

The special election for the seat is October 16th.

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