HACKENSACK – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan said he was stunned, stunned that his Democratic opponent, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, would be in a diner here while Newark continues to suffer a spate of murders.
“Appalling,” said Lonegan. “There have been nine murders in a week and Cory Booker is hanging out in a diner in Hackensack. He ought to be in Newark setting up a command center. He’s concerned that Rand Paul is coming to New Jersey? He ought to be in Newark combating this unconscionable scourge in a city with a 13 percent unemployment rate.”
Booker earlier today jabbed at Lonegan for welcoming movement conservative Paul to an endorsement event on Sept. 13, arguing that his Republican opponent’s embrace of Paul puts him at odds with Gov. Chris Christie.
Neither Paul nor Lonegan supported federal disaster relief aid.
“I don’t support the way it’s administered,” Lonegan said today. “And I was right, if you see the way people are being denied aid all up and down the Jersey Shore, because it is not being properly delivered.”
Chased out of a campaign event in which he talked about government aid with middle-class voters, Booker did pause before entering his van to address the murder spree in his home city.
“We’ve had a horrendous stretch of murders,” he acknowledged. “Shocking.”
The mayor said he needs people to help police with information about the shootings.
His Newark office released the following statement:
“We are taking the following actions in response to the targeted violence we’ve seen in recent weeks:
- Extending the summer deployment of increased patrols in troubled neighborhoods and increased overtime to keep more of our officers on the streets.
- Expanding the deployment of tactical forces to specifically target gun-related violence.
- Commencing Operation Blue Zone Deployment which will send concentrated police resources and significant assets around the city.