Newark Mayor Cory Booker will soon be the next New Jersey senator.
The Democratic candidate beat out Republican opponent Steve Lonegan in a special election to fill a Senate seat left vacant by the late Frank Lautenberg. The Associated Press called the election in Booker’s favor on Wednesday night with 52 percent of the vote tallied. Booker led 55 percent to 44 percent.
“Thank you so much, New Jersey. I'm proud to be your senator-elect,” Booker tweeted minutes after his win was announced.
Booker will become the first African-American elected to the Senate since Barack Obama became president as well as the fourth-ever African- American elected to the Senate since Reconstruction. Several other African-Americans have been appointed to the Senate to fill vacancies in that time frame, however.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee put out a victory statement for Booker before the race was even called in his favor, certain that the Newark mayor would be moving on to Washington, D.C.
“Tonight’s election is a repudiation of the Tea Party’s reckless agenda and a Republican party that grants too much influence to people on the fringes," DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet said in a statement.