[The Washington Post]

Newark Mayor Cory Booker won the Democratic primary in the New Jersey Senate race on Tuesday — a victory that sets him on a clear course to become the newest U.S. senator.

With 98 percent of the precincts reporting, Booker was taking about 60 percent of the vote in a four-candidate field. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. was second with 20 percent, while Rep. Rush D. Holt was at 17 percent and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver was below 5 percent.

The victory propels Booker into the special election on Oct. 16 against former gubernatorial candidate and former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan, who won the Republican nomination with about 80 percent of the vote.

The winner will complete the remaining 15 months of the term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who died earlier this year. The seat will also be up in 2014.