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Independent U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Lynn Rivera

Natalie Lynn Rivera will challenge Cory Booker

Independent lost her last race by 1.7 million votes

By David Wildstein, April 25 2019 1:44 pm

The announcement today that Natalie Lynn Rivera will run as an independent for U.S. Senate against Cory Booker next year raises an interesting dilemma for the New Jersey Globe and others: is that news?

Rivera ran for the Senate last year and received 19,897 votes statewide – which means about six out of every 1,000 New Jerseyans voted for her against Bob Menendez, Bob Hugin and four other independent candidates.  She lost by nearly 1.7 million votes.

She didn’t raise enough to require filing a report with the Federal Election Commission – which means her fundraising haul was anywhere from zero to $4,999.

Even for news organizations which concentrate entirely on New Jersey politics, the bandwidth doesn’t exist to cover someone just because they were able to get 1,000 valid signatures to earn a place on the ballot.   New Jersey Spotlight attempted to profile her, but she “did not respond to a request to comment about her campaign.”  She has five Twitter followers.

Independents are 0-for-42 in races for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey.

An independent candidate hasn’t broken 1% since Green Party candidate Ted Glick (1.15%) in 2002.  Former Bergen County Sheriff Joseph Job, a legendary figure who won countywide elections as both a Republican and Democrat, won 2.75% in his 1970 U.S. Senate race – the high-water mark of third party candidates over the last 65 years.

An independent candidate for Congress contacted the Globe two weeks before the 2018 general election to ask why his campaign wasn’t being covered.  He had raised no money, had no visible campaign organization, and had a website that hadn’t been updated for six months.  Still, he insisted he was going to win.  He could feel it.

The Globe made the candidate an offer – the best we could do that late in the campaign: if he got 5% of the vote, he would be issued a public apology.

He accepted that as a fair offer.

On Election Day, the candidate finished fifth out of six candidates with 0.41% of the vote; he lost by 135,621 votes.

Still, the story of Bernie Sanders looms large.

Sanders was sort of a Vermont version of Richard Pezzullo: a perennial independent candidate on the statewide ballot.  He won 2% in a 1972 special election for U.S. Senate, 1% in the 1972 gubernatorial election, 4% as a 1974 U.S. Senate candidate, 6% in a 1976 gubernatorial bid, 14% in his 1986 campaign for governor, and 38% as a candidate for Congressman-At-Large.

After four successful campaign for mayor of Burlington, sixteen years in the House and three U.S. Senate wins, Sanders is a first-tier candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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One thought on “Natalie Lynn Rivera will challenge Cory Booker

  1. Hello
    Please do a re-print with the proper information. Natalie Rivera is running as a Republican in the 2020 US Senatorial Candidate race against Corey Booker
    Thank you

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