Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States on Friday.
It had long been rumored that Booker would enter the field of candidates who want to be the Democratic nominee in 2020 to face President Donald Trump. On the first day of Black History Month, the 49-year-old junior senator from New Jersey confirmed all speculation on social media. He unveiled his campaign video that depicted him as being able to understand the hardships of everyday Americans. Booker noted that he was from a low-income, inner city community in Newark and that it was this community that first took a chance on him. He is seen walking through the neighborhood in the video.
“The history of our nation is defined by collective action; by interwoven destinies of slaves and abolitionists; of those born here and those who chose America as home; of those who took up arms to defend our country, and those who linked arms to challenge and change it,” Booker said in the video.
“I’m Cory Booker and I’m running for president of the United States of America.”
Booker, a Yale and Stanford graduate, won an upset victory for a seat on the Municipal Council of Newark in 1998 where he staged a 10-day hunger strike and briefly lived in a tent to draw attention to urban development issues in the city. In 2002, he ran for mayor of Newark but lost to incumbent Sharpe James. Ultimately, he ran again in 2006 and won against deputy mayor Ronald Rice. In 2013, he became the first African American from New Jersey elected to the Senate.
In the Senate, Booker has co-sponsored and voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (2013), tougher sanctions against Iran, sponsored the Bipartisan Budget Act (2013), voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (2014), co-sponsored the Respect for Marriage Act (2014) and lead the push to pass the First Step Act (2018).
Booker has also been a prominent challenger to Trump, his policies and judicial nominees. During the confirmation for now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Booker had a “Spartacus” moment. He released confidential emails pertaining to Kavanaugh’s work in George W. Bush’s administration. The National Archives had not yet cleared it for public release.
Booker will appear on The View live 11 a.m. EST today to discuss his presidential run in the first interview since his announcement.