Rival Accuses Cory Booker Of Having Owned A ‘Crack House’

Steve Lonegan, the Republican former mayor of Bogota, N.J. who is running against Newark Mayor Cory Booker in the Garden State’s U.S. Senate race, is scheduled to have a press conference Tuesday where he plans to accuse Booker of having owned a “crack house.”

Lonegan’s “crack house” accusations are in response to reports published in the New York Post and Bergen Record in recent days about a property Booker obtained while mayor. The property drew complaints from neighbors who said it was left vacant and “overrun by squatters.” 

“Mayor Steve Lonegan, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate, will hold a press conference today in front of Cory Booker’s abandoned property, now a crack house,” a press release announcing the event said. 

In another story published Monday, the Post reported a neighbor who lived near the building said she wrote “many many letters to [Booker] about squatters in the yard, people using drugs.” According to the Record, Booker purchased the building in 2009 and sold it to a non-profit he owns for $1 “less than three weeks” after the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) announced he would not run for re-election in February of this year.

Lonegan’s press conference is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET. TPM reached out to Lonegan’s spokesman, Will Gattenby, to ask whether they had any evidence of drug-related activity at the building.

“I think we’ll speak to that today in the press conference,” Gattenby said.
Correction: This post originally said no stories had mentioned drug activity at the house. It has been updated to show that the Post reported on Monday about one woman’s accusations of drug activity.

Neither Booker nor his office immediately responded to a request for comment.  


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