A dive into the New Jersey Senate election

November 2, 2020


Inforgraphic by: Tomer Goldfinger and Emily Boyle

The candidates for the New Jersey Senate election.

This year Senator Cory Booker is up for re-election. After losing in the Democratic presidential primaries, he is running for re-election for his Senate seat. He is facing off against Republican Rik Mehta, The Green Party candidate Madelyn Hoffman, and two independent candidates, Daniel Burke and Veronica Fernandez.
On October 27, Republican candidate Rik Mehta and Cory Booker had a debate. When it came to the Governor’s response to COVID-19 the two candidates had very different opinions. Booker said he believed Gov. Murphy has “shown extraordinary leadership and made really a lot of tough calls” and that Gov. Murphy fought to make sure that New Jersey had the resources it needed. He elaborated on how he was put in a difficult situation and it was wrong that he had to bid against other states to obtain these resources. Whereas Mehta disagreed and said “New Jersey out of every other state in the country has lost the most number of lives to COVID… and that is unacceptable.” He also believes that Gov. Murphy needs to be held accountable for his mishandling of the virus.
Another pressing issue that the two candidates disagreed on, is whether or not systemic racism exists. Booker said it is real and an issue, whereas Mehta disagreed and said that if systemic racism existed he and Booker would not have made it so far in politics.
Booker and Mehta also diverge on the issue of abortion. Booker is pro-choice whereas Mehta is pro-life.
As of October 14, 2020, Cory Booker has spent over 10 times more on his campaign than Mehta. According to Ballotpedia, Booker has spent $6,030,677 on his campaign and Mehta has only spent $561,049. In addition, Fernandez spent $11,505 and Burke has spent $6,155. According to the Cook Political Report from October 27 New Jersey is a solid democratic state and will, in all likelihood, reelect Booker.
The only way to truly decide who will fill the seat is by voting! So, if you are registered to vote make sure to cast your ballot by voting early, dropping your mail-in ballot at a NJ drop box location, or voting on November 3.

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