February 01, 2019
Friday morning New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker officially joined 2020 U.S. presidential election race, announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in an email to supporters.
If he were to win the party's primary election next year and then the general election against President Donald Trump that November, Booker would become the second African-American president of the United States. His announcement Friday morning, which coincided with the first day of Black History Month, took inspiration and spirit from the civil rights movement, while also calling for unity.
"We are better when we help each other," Booker, 49, said.
"I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind; where parents can put food on the table; where there are good paying jobs with good benefits in every neighborhood; where our criminal justice system keeps us safe, instead of shuffling more children into cages and coffins; where we see the faces of our leaders on television and feel pride, not shame."
His campaign, styled as Cory 2020, uses the tagline, "Together, America will rise."
Later Friday, Booker is scheduled to give his first three, post-candidacy interviews to radio stations anchored by Black or Latinx hosts.
Booker is the latest Democratic candidate to join the race, which already includes California Sen. Kamala Harris, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, and former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, as well as Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, plus maybe the former CEO of Starbucks.
Booker joining the 2020 playing field has been an anticipated addition for months, aided by his active campaigning during the 2018 midterm elections, when he visited 24 different states.
During his time in the public eye, the former Newark, New Jersey mayor has gained a reputation for delivering powerful speeches, though far-left progressives may be critical of his ties to Wall Street and his support of charter schools, which causes mixed feelings from grassroots organizations. Booker has pledged, however, not to accept donations from corporate political committees or federal lobbyists.