Newark, N.J, Mayor Cory Booker appears headed for the U.S. Senate, a path made smoother by a generous injection of money from hedge fund and private-equity managers.
Booker is widely seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party and yesterday trounced his intra-party opponents in the primary for the right to seek election to fill out the term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). Booker received 59% of the vote, easily besting the two congressman also seeking to succeed Lautenberg.
He'll face Republican candidate Steven Lonegan in a special election in October. Booker is currently leading Lonegan, a former mayor of Bogota, N.J., by double-digits in the polls, and New Jersey has not elected a Republican Senator since 1972.
The Newark mayor takes on Lonegan with the backing of a number of prominent alternative investments players. Baupost Group's Seth Klarman gave $100,000 to a political action committee backing Booker, and Eagle Capital Management's Ravenel Curry III and Ravenel Curry IV each chipped in $50,000 apiece. The younger Curry has also given directly to Booker's campaign, and he and Klarman have also given to Booker's older PAC.
They're not alone: A trio of Bain Capital employees, John Cannaughton, Jonathan Lavine and Steve Pagliuca have given a total of $5,200 to his campaign account, and two other Bain managing directors, Joshua Bekenstein and Mark Nunnelly gave $15,400 to the Booker Team for Newark.