(Associated Press) Newark Mayor Cory Booker won a special election Wednesday to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate, giving the rising Democratic star a bigger political stage after a race against conservative Steve Lonegan, a former small-town mayor.

With three-quarters of precincts reporting, Booker had almost 56 percent of the vote to Lonegan’s 43 percent. The first reaction from the social-media savvy victor came, of course, on Twitter: “Thank you so much, New Jersey, I’m proud to be your Senator-elect.”

Booker, 44, will become the first black senator from New Jersey and heads to Washington with an unusual political resume.

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