Cory Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark, has defeated Republican Steve Lonegan in New Jersey's special election for the U.S. Senate Wednesday night. The Associated Press called the race for Booker just after 9:30 pm.

With 58 percent of precincts reporting, Booker leads Lonegan in the vote, 56 percent to 43 percent.

Booker will succeed Republican senator Jeff Chiesa, who was appointed to the seat by New Jersey governor Chris Christie after the death of veteran Democratic senator Frank Lautenberg earlier this year. Booker is the first black member elected to the Senate since Barack Obama's successful race in Illinois in 2004, and he will join Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina who was appointed to his seat in January, as the only black senators currently serving.

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