Republican candidate and Tea Party favorite Steve Lonegan came up short against Democrat Cory Booker in the special statewide race to win the right to fill the unexpired term of the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg. But Lonegan can comfort himself with the knowledge that he limited Booker's statewide win to about 11 percentage points. And he won handily in Sussex County, Hopatcong and Sparta.
Across the county, Lonegan garnered 64.9 percent of the vote to Booker's 33.7 percent, according to unofficial results released late Wednesday night by the Sussex County Clerk's Office.
That win was echoed in Hopatcong Borough, where Lonegan defeated his Democratic rival 1,682 to 978 in the unofficial count. In Sparta Township, the Republican unofficially netted 2,447 votes to Booker's 1,406. Lonegan won every district in both towns.
In both towns, the county clerk totals show that a little more than a quarter of registered voters came out to cast a ballot.
As of midnight Thursday, unofficial results show Lonegan wins also in Monmouth and Morris counties.