INQUIRER STAFF WRITER CHERRY HILL

Newark Mayor Cory Booker held his first public campaign event in New Jersey in 10 days Wednesday night during a run in Cherry Hill with Mayor Chuck Cahn and supporters.

It was his first stop in South Jersey this month in the special election for U.S. Senate, though Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick swung through Willingboro on his behalf Tuesday. Booker, the front-runner in the Oct. 16 election, attended fund-raisers in California over the weekend.

Earlier Wednesday, Booker, a Democrat, shared laughs with Republican Gov. Christie at a charter school ribbon-cutting in Newark in his role as mayor.

In a brief interview after his run in Cherry Hill, Booker said he had no reservations about appearing with Christie a little over a month before the November gubernatorial election. Booker has endorsed State Sen. Barbara Buono of Middlesex County, Christie's Democratic challenger.

"He's the governor of the state; I'm the mayor of the largest city," Booker said. "We've been working together for years. I'm not going to suddenly stop working with him just because it's election season."

Steve Lonegan, the Republican nominee in the Senate race, and Buono also played down the buzz of the Booker-Christie shindig.

Booker said he wanted to give Christie some "guv love."

Some recent polls suggest the races are tightening, though others give Booker and Christie substantially bigger leads.

"I have not paid attention to polls in the primary, nor will I pay attention to them here," Booker said in the interview. "We're obviously focused on getting around the state, connecting to voters. This is New Jersey - elections are not given away by polls, they have to be earned.

Booker also said he was in the legal process of donating his shares of the Internet start-up he cofounded last year, Waywire. He announced this month he would step down from the company's board and donate the shares to charity. Booker had been criticized for playing an important role in the Silicon Valley-backed company while serving as mayor of Newark.

 


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