NEWARK, NJ (TIP): A rising national Democratic star, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, was elected to the U.S. Senate October 16 and will become New Jersey’s first ever African American senator. Booker defeated Republican Steve Lonegan, a former Mayor of Bogota. With most votes counted late Wednesday, the Associated Press had called the contest for Booker, who was carrying 55 percent of the vote. When Booker is sworn in, the Democratic Caucus will once again hold a 55-45 advantage over the GOP Conference. Booker will fill the seat once held by Frank Lautenberg, a long-serving Democratic senator who died in June. Gov. Chris Christie had appointed fellow Republican Jeff Chiesa to be Lautenberg’s interim replacement. Booker, 44, will become the chamber’s second African American member along with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). The Democrat will enter the Senate having already achieved celebrity status. A regular on cable news programs and Sunday morning news shows with more than 1.4 million followers on Twitter, Booker has cultivated a profile that extends well beyond New Jersey.