GLASSBORO, N.J. (AP) — Republican Steve Lonegan's affiliation with the Tea Party is being questioned in the second U.S. Senate debate against Democrat Cory Booker.
Booker is portraying his opponent as an extremist who would make gridlock in Washington worse.
Conservatives including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have endorsed Lonegan.
Lonegan says Booker doesn't deserve to win the Senate race because he has not stemmed crime in Newark, where is a second-term mayor.
The two also differ on the government shutdown.
Lonegan supports it to postpone implementation of the federal health care law. Booker is promoting bipartisan cooperation.
The two are engaged in a one-hour exchange at Rowan University.
The televised debate is being carried by NBC stations in New York and Philadelphia.
The special election is Oct. 16.