The family of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has endorsed Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) over the heavy favorite, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, in the special election to fill Lautenberg's Senate seat. In a statement released by Pallone's campaign, Lautenberg's family described Pallone as the one candidate in the Democratic primary who "stands out as ready to continue Frank Lautenberg’s progressive leadership in the U.S. Senate."
Booker announced his intention to "explore the possibility of" running for the seat in December, two months before Lautenberg announced his decision to retire after this term. That move angered Lautenberg and others in Jersey's Democratic establishment and after Lautenberg passed away last month at the age of 89, some insiders predicted invoking the late senator's name would be a good strategy to use against Booker in this race.