Former Mayor of Newark Announces Presidential Bid

The Story:

Senator Cory Booker (D – NJ) , who served as the Mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013, announced on February 1, 2019 that he is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States.

Background:

Booker first ran for Mayor in 2002. That campaign was unsuccessful, in large part due to the uninhibited mud-slinging of his opponent, Sharpe James, who claimed both that Booker was receiving money from the Taliban and that he was “collaborating with the Jews to take over Newark.” That campaign became the subject of a documentary, Street Fight, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

James decided not to run for re-election in 2006, and Booker easily defeated James’ Deputy Mayor, Robert Rice. Indeed, Booker by this time had “coattails.” He came into office with a friendly City Council, the so-called “Booker Team.”

The Thing to Know:

Booker’s tenure in Newark (along with, of course, his more recent voting record in the US Senate) will surely prove a matter of contention in the months ahead. Observers of Newark’s recent history generally regard the Booker years as a time of real, but limited, progress for that city of close to 300,000 people.

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