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U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Booker defeats Hamm

Senator deflects primary challenge from longtime progressive activist

By Nikita Biryukov, July 07 2020 8:36 pm

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-Newark) will repel a progressive primary challenge from longtime progressive activist Larry Hamm in his bid for a second full term in Congress, the New Jersey Globe projects.

Booker leads Hamm by about 79 points.

Hamm, who chaired U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) New Jersey presidential campaign, challenged Booker over in a bid to accelerate the passage of progressive policies.

But, in Booker, he faced a goliath fresh off of a presidential campaign that put his name in the news and millions of dollars into advertising.

New Jersey’s Democratic Organizations were at Booker’s back. He landed the line in every county, and the gap in fundraising was clear. By June 17, Hamm had raised just $66,062. He burned through most of that money, going into the race’s final days with just $7,650.41.

Though later he received $4,600 in donations from Sharpe James — $2,000 came from the former Newark mayor’s campaign account — and loaned his campaign an additional $3,000, the fundraising gap was chasmic.

He had $2.9 million in his warchest on June 17 and continued to receive donations en masse in the primary’s last weeks. One 48-hour report filed with the Federal Election commission said the incumbent raised $309,900 in a single day.

Democrats in New Jersey haven’t lost a U.S. Senate race since 1972.

Vote tallies do not include uncounted mail-in ballots received by Tuesday, late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by 8 p.m. Tuesday, provisional ballots that won’t be counted for at least a week and mail-in ballots that were disqualified but may be cured at a later date.

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