Despite Popularity, Chris Christie Isn't Even New Jersey's Best Leader

Why Cory Booker Shows He's Ready for the National Stage

Yahoo Contributor Network

New Jersey politics are again snagging national headlines: Gov. Chris Christie said this week the state will hold a special election in October to replace Sen. Frank Lautenberg, while high-profile Newark Mayor Cory Booker is pegged as a potential frontrunner for Lautenberg's seat.

Yahoo asked New Jersey voters which prominent Jersey pol -- Christie or Booker -- is their favorite. Here's one resident's choice.

COMMENTARY | The passing of Sen. Frank Lautenberg has left a huge void on New Jersey's, and America's, political landscape -- a void that must be filled with great care and discernment. With that in mind, and as a 50-something-year-old Old Bridge resident, I feel Newark Mayor Cory Booker is a great choice to fill Sen. Lautenberg's seat.

Under Booker, Newark has seen the beginning of a revitalization that has caught the attention of other mayors across the nation. Downtown has been on the upswing under his watch with the continued success of the N.J. Performing Arts Center, the Prudential Center, the Newark Museum, and Riverfront Stadium -- just to name a few. The NCAA Basketball Eastern Regionals, held at The Rock in 2011, were a rousing success and showed that "Brick City" is on the way to shedding its negative image.

Also, under Booker, Newark enjoys a high rate of new construction projects in the state, carrying with it the potential for an influx of jobs and revenue. The mayor has also managed to somewhat level off the continuing problem of violent crime in the city, although there's still a long way to go on that score. And when it comes to courage and selflessness, who can forget Booker helping to save members of a Newark family from a burning house?

Crime notwithstanding, Booker has shown that he can map out, and carry out, a path to a brighter future, and he's done it as the chief executive of the state's largest city. Add to this his strong, confident, but un-abrasive manner and ability to communicate with a broad cross-section of diverse people, and Corey Booker is a man who, in the spirit of Sen. Lautenberg, would do quite well in fighting for and furthering New Jersey's interests on Capitol Hill.

While Gov. Chris Christie presents a strong, imposing presence that comes in handy on the national state, he has a bad habit of alienating people, not only with his bluster, but also with his policies, as the state's teachers will tell you. Plus, there is no solid evidence that New Jersey's economy is recovering under his leadership.

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