6:34 p.m. July 23, 2013

Holt: Late Senator's Family "Just Wrong" To Support Pallone

WASHINGTON - Given the bad blood between the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, it came as little surprise that Lautenberg's family chose not to endorse Booker to fill his Senate seat. Instead, in a statement released Monday, the family threw its support behind Rep. Frank Pallone (D., N.J.), a decision which has at least one man in a bit of a huff.

"I think that was simply a mistake, it really was."

Sitting across from me at a conference table at the National Democratic Headquarters, Rep. Rush D. Holt (D., N.J.) is explaining why Lautenberg's family is mistaken.

"They looked at this race in the wrong way. They said, 'Frank Pallone has more money in his campaign account than Rush Holt does,' - never mind how much I'm raising - they said, 'and we don't like Booker, and we think Frank Pallone has a better chance of beating him,' and that is just wrong."

He continued, "they will tell you - some of them told me - they actually wanted to endorse me, but they thought Frank Pallone had a better chance of winning, and it was based on misinformation, I think, and miscalculation."

"Anyway," Holt presses on, "I'm sure August 14th, after the primary, they'll come around and be my friends as the candidate for the Senate."

As I walk with Holt past the National Democratic Club, many hands extend to shake his. One voice calls out, "Senator!" from the sea of indistinguishable, white-haired men. Holt laughs confidently as he greets his friend, "I'm halfway there!"

Back channel chatter

  1. "U.S. Rep Rush Holt said this week that the support former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg's family has shown to U.S Rep. Frank Pallone in his bid for Senate is "wrong," and said it was based on Pallone's war chest and nothing more.

    Holt gave the interview to news site NSFWCORP, saying members of Lautenberg's family had told him they wanted to support him but went with Pallone because he had more money."