Newark Mayor Cory Booker praised the service of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) on Monday, who died earlier in the day due to complications from viral pneumonia.
“Today, the American people lost a true champion,” Booker said in a statement. “For three decades, Senator Frank Lautenberg worked to make America a stronger, healthier and safer place to live. His legacy will endure for generations.”
The two men shared a contentious relationship in recent months after the rising Democratic star made moves toward a candidacy for Lautenberg’s seat in 2014 before the veteran Garden State senator announced whether he would seek re-election. In his statement, Booker hailed Lautenberg as someone he looked up to prior to entering public service.
“Senator Lautenberg was a model of leadership and service to me since before I even considered entering elected office,” he said. “He was a passionate advocate for New Jersey and a crucial and tireless partner who always delivered for the people of Newark. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lautenberg family.”