Cory Booker declares candidacy for U.S. Senate

Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, has just announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate Credit: Getty Images
Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, has just announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate
Credit: Getty Images

Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced his candidacy on Saturday for a U.S. Senate seat for New Jersey and will run in a Democratic primary set for August to fill the seat of late Senator Frank Lautenberg.

“I do not run from challenges. I run towards them,” Booker said at a news conference in the city where he has served as mayor since 2006.

After the death of Lautenberg, 89, on Monday, Republican Governor Chris Christie called a special election to fill the remainder of the late senator’s term.

Booker, 44, had previously announced his intention to seek the seat when Lautenberg’s term expired in 2014 after the Democratic senator said he would not seek a sixth term.

Booker enters the primary race against U.S. Representative Rush Holt, a seven-term congressman. U.S. Representative Frank Pallone Jr. of Long Branch and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver are also widely expected to join the race.

Conservative activist Steve Lonegan, a former mayor of Bogota, New Jersey, is the only Republican who has officially declared his candidacy for the seat.

Booker said lawmakers in Washington need to work together to pass comprehensive immigration reform and gun safety laws that include stringent background checks.

He noted his efforts to work with Christie on the controversial expansion of charter schools in Newark, despite their political differences on issues such as marriage equality and the environment.

“People say that Washington is a lost cause, that DC is broken and that the two sides are too far apart,” Booker said. “I tell you today that I reject that attitude.”

SPECIAL ELECTION CRITICIZED

Democrats criticized Christie’s decision to hold a special election, calling it a calculated attempt by the governor to avoid appearing on the same ballot in November as Booker, who is among the state’s most popular Democrats.

The special election, including the August primaries and the general election three weeks ahead of the normally scheduled November election, will cost the state about $24 million.

Christie, who is leading his Democratic challenger for the governorship by more than 30 points, dismissed the criticism, saying New Jersey should have a voter-approved representative in the Senate as soon as possible.

On Thursday, Christie appointed a fellow Republican, the state’s attorney general Jeffrey Chiesa, to fill the seat until the general special election in October. Chiesa said he would not compete for the seat.

Booker is credited with bringing $1 billion in new development to Newark, including the city’s first new downtown hotel in 40 years and the relocation of major companies, including Panasonic, which is building a new North American headquarters in downtown.

Some people have criticized him for his prolific use of Twitter and media exposure.

“A lot of us in Newark feel that he’s been a terrible manager, and most people outside of Newark don’t know this,” said 70-year-old retiree and activist Bill Chappel. “Because all they know are Tweets.”

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, who in September 2010 pledged $100 million for Newark schools, will host a fundraiser in California for Booker in the coming days, campaign spokesman Kevin Griffis said, without giving any details.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…