Lautenberg's family backs Pallone, says he's not a 'showhorse'
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, passed away in June.
July 8th, 2013
10:48 AM ET
9 months ago

Lautenberg's family backs Pallone, says he's not a 'showhorse'

(CNN) – Rep. Frank Pallone received a crucial endorsement Monday in his longshot bid for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey.

The Democratic congressman, who's running in a special Senate election to fill the remainder of the late-Sen. Frank Lautenberg's term, got the backing of Lautenberg's family.

The family announced its support for Pallone in a lengthy statement released Monday, saying most of the candidates in the Democratic primary are "hardworking, progressive leaders."

"But only one of them stands out as ready to continue Frank Lautenberg's progressive leadership in the U.S. Senate. That candidate is Congressman Frank Pallone," the statement read. "We are saying: Stick with Frank."

It's not a big surprise that Lautenberg's family chose not to endorse the Democratic frontrunner, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, given that Booker was considering a Democratic challenge to Lautenberg next year. In the months before the senator's death in June, the relationship between Booker and Lautenberg remained tense, as the Newark mayor gained a bigger profile and spoke publicly about his thoughts on 2014.

The family said Pallone, who's now in his 14th term in the House, most lines up with Lautenberg's values, including the late senator's focus on being a "workhorse, not a showhorse."

"Pallone knows that gimmicks and celebrity status won't get you very far in the real battles that Democrats face in the future," the statement read. "While it may not always attract glamorous headlines, Frank knows that to be effective you must put New Jersey and your principles first, not your own glory."

Pallone, Booker, and Rep. Rush Holt face off in the Democratic primary next month, with the special election to take place in October. Two polls conducted last month indicated Booker far ahead of Pallone and Holt in the race for the Democratic Senate nomination.

– CNN's Candy Crowley, Ashley Killough and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Frank Lautenberg • New Jersey • Senate
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "It's not a big surprise that Lautenberg's family chose not to endorse the Democratic frontrunner, Newark Mayor Cory Booker,... ... . In the months before the senator's death in June, the relationship between Booker and Lautenberg remained tense, .... "
    -------------------
    I find it all a bit odd. Lautenberg had retired once before, back in 2000 I think it was. He was old back then. He returned to politics when asked because someone was forced to resign from office. He stayed in politics ever since. I had thought it odd that Lautenberg would even consider running in 2014 because of his age. He should have retired after he completed that term of office when returned. Everyone around here thought that that was what he would do.

    July 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Wake up People!

    I'm not surprised his family is not supporting Mayor Booker. However I would have been if they were.

    July 8, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Laverne

    It is unfortunate that just because Mr. Booker chose to run or senate he is referred to as a "showhorse". Mr. Booker would make a great senator for the state of NJ!

    July 8, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. chilly g

    i live in maryland but hope booker win and if not booker then any democraft.

    July 8, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. California Gary

    If the term "show horse" is meant to imply that Booker is an empty suit.........they are wrong about that. Booker is no empty suit........plenty of substance there and he will make an excellent senator.

    July 8, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. just askin

    where are all the usual leftist calls of racism???

    July 8, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |