Sen. Cory Booker has officially entered the 2020 presidential race.
Booker chose the first day of Black History Month to release a video announcing he would seek the Democratic Party’s nomination, joining what is becoming a notably diverse and crowded field.
“The history of our nation is defined by collective action, by interwoven destinies of slaves and 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 says in the video, in which he walks through his Newark, New Jersey neighborhood. He notes that where he lives sets him apart as “the only senator who goes home to a low-income, inner-city community.”
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) February 1, 2019
In a nod to his support for the LGBTQ community, a shot of an American flag is placed alongside one of two rainbow flags.
“I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, where 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,” Booker says, in an obvious shot at President Trump.
“Together, we will channel our common pain back into our common purpose. Together, America, we will rise,” he adds.
Booker began his political career as a member of the Newark City Council from 1998 to 2002, followed by becoming the mayor of Newark, a position he held for seven years. He rose to national attention for his community-minded efforts to turn around the poverty and crime stricken city, focusing in part on criminal justice reform.
He has continued to focus on those initiatives, taking a role in bipartisan reform efforts, as a senator, a position he was elected to in 2013. Booker has also been praised for his tough questioning of Trump administration appointees, like Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in his role as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Booker’s campaign will officially kick off next weekend in Iowa, followed by stops in South Carolina and New Hampshire.
In addition to Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, Julián Castro, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep. John Delaney, and Richard Ojeda have all officially announced their 2020 presidential campaigns for the Democratic Party’s nomination.