Republican Steve Lonegan has criticized Cory Booker's suggestion that he's okay with voters thinking that he's gay.

Booker and Lonegan are vying to fill the seat left vacant by the June 6 death of New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg. A special election will take place on October 6.

Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark, told The Washington Post that “some part of me thinks it's wonderful” that people think he's gay.

“Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia. I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I'm gay, and I say, 'So what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I'm straight,'” he said.

In a telephone interview with Newsmax's Steve Malzberg, Lonegan described Booker's comments as “weird” for a guy.

“As a guy, I personally like being a guy,” Lonegan, the former New Jersey head for the Koch Brother's Americans for Prosperity. “I don't know if you saw the stories last year, they've been out quite a bit, about how he likes to go out at 3 o'clock in the morning for a manicure and pedicure.”

He added: “Maybe that helps him get the gay vote, by acting ambiguous. Although, I don't like going out in the middle of the night, or any time of day, for manicures and pedicures. It was described as his peculiar fetish, is how it was described. I have a more peculiar fetish: I like a good Scotch and a cigar, that's my fetish. But we'll just compare the two.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

In response, Booker told BuzzFeed: “It's just disheartening to hear somebody in this day and age … implicate that gay men are not men. … That kind of callous bigoted disrespect to gays and lesbians shouldn't be tolerated.”