(NEW YORK) -- Cory Booker’s senatorial campaign is shrugging off revelations that the constantly-tweeting Newark mayor had Twitter exchanges, including direct messages, with a Portland stripper.
The Twitter banter between the stripper, Lynsie Lee, who works at a vegan strip club called Caso Diablo, and Booker were first reported by Buzzfeed Wednesday.
“Over the years, the mayor has used Twitter to efficiently direct city resources, learn about problems during disasters and communicate with supporters across the country,” Booker campaign spokesperson Kevin Griffis told ABC News in a statement. “In an era when nearly every moment in most public officials’ lives is scripted and controlled, the mayor remains accessible and engages with people. Really, the most shocking thing about this story is the news that there’s a vegan strip club in Portland.”
Casa Diablo bills itself as the “world’s first vegan strip club,” and their tagline is “Portland’s hottest dancers, incredible vegan food.” Their menu includes burgers and burritos, but it is all meat-free.
Despite the fact that they both used social media, this is no Anthony Weiner situation. There are no raunchy photos or explicit messages, and Booker, 44, is single. In the messages, Lee first tweeted Booker and said, ”if you’re ever POTUS I call dibs on First Lady.” After another female Twitter user told Lee she has had her own private Twitter conversations with Booker, Lee posted her direct messages with Booker that she exchanged with him in February.
“And the East Coast loves you and by the East Coast, I mean me,” Booker wrote in the private direct message to Lee. She wrote back, “Well now I’m blushing” and Booker responded: “Its only fair.”
Lee spoke to ABC News’ Portland affiliate KATU and she said if Booker “unfollowed” her she would be “very hurt.”
“If it hurts his campaign I will feel guilty, but I would want it to be for a viable reason, not for me just being a stripper,” Lee said. “That’s not a good reason for people to not vote for him because he was nice to a stripper. He’s been nice to everyone he’s ever tweeted to, so that’s their own fault if they hate strippers. It’s not his.”
Booker and Lee appeared in a movie together about Twitter called Follow Friday the Film. Although many politicians use social media cautiously, Booker constantly tweets with constituents and supporters on issues that range from snow removal and other city-related issues to thanking and communicating with supporters throughout the country.
Booker is running in the special election to replace Frank Lautenberg, who passed away in June. He faces off against Steve Lonegan, a former mayor of Bogota, N.J., next month. Booker has been leading Lonegan by wide margins, but a recent poll from Quinnipiac show a tightening with Booker only leading Lonegan by 12 points, 53 percent to 41 percent.
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