U.S. Senator Cory Booker announced today that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for the president, joining an already crowded field of others seeking the party’s 2020 nomination.
Booker of New Jersey had been expected to seek the nomination and this morning he pulled the trigger. “I’ m running for president. Join me on this journey,” Booker wrote on twitter. He said he will give interviews throughout the day.
A graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School, the 49-year-old Booker served as mayor of Newark, N.J., from June 1, 2006 to October 31, 2013 before he won his seat to the U.S. Senate on October 31, 2013. He is also a Rhodes Scholar. Booker still lives in downtown Newark.
Booker, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joins Sen. Kamala Harris, a fellow committee member, who is also seeking the party’s nomination. Harris is from California. Booker also joins Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Julian Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who already have announced they are seeking the presidential nomination.
Booker was born in Washington, D. C. and raised in Harrington Park, N.J. His parents, Carolyn Rose and Cary Alfred Booker, were among the first black executives at IBM.
Booker has stated that he was raised in a religious household, and that he and his family attended the same African Methodist Episcopal Church in New Jersey.
He has strong name recognition and a liberal background. He pushed for Congress to pass the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal-justice reform bill. Booker is single, although he is close with Gayle King, Oprah’s best friend.
As Newark’s mayor, he hired Garry McCarthy, a former New York City police detective, as Newark’s police superintendent. McCarthy later became police superintendent of Chicago. He is now seeking to become mayor of Chicago.