As presidential announcements continue to roll out, another prospect has finally made official his aspirations for office: Cory Booker.
The Democratic New Jersey senator kicked off Black History Month by throwing his hat into the ring for the 2020 presidential race. Booker joins a competitive group of Democratic hopefuls, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA); Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is expected to make her official announcement any day now.
In a video of Booker walking through Newark and touting his New Jersey upbringing, the former Newark mayor describes the racism his family faced while trying to find housing in the Garden State, the help he received along the way, and his decision to pay it forward. “I’m the only senator who goes home to a low-income, inner-city community—the first community that took a chance on me,” Booker says.
The history of our nation is defined by collective action, by interwoven destinies of slaves, 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 was part of a group of Democrats who vocally censured Justice Brett Kavanaugh and even released Kavanaugh’s confidential emails to the general public, inciting a wave of similar actions by other Democrats in the Senate.
Booker also emphasized his continued commitment to criminal justice reform, a sore spot for opponent Kamala Harris, who has faced harsh criticism for her past actions as a prosecutor. But Booker has his own critics; he has similarly been called out for disingenuous behavior and pandering, and he’s gotten heat in the past for accepting Wall Street money (he’s since expressed opposition to taking funding from super PACs) and voting against a bill that would make prescription drugs more affordable, after which he pivoted and supported a similar bill, citing consumer protections for the initial decision.
It’s going to be a heated race this year—all the better as we try to get President Q*Bert out of office.