Sen. Cory Booker chose the first day of Black History Month to launch his 2020 run, timing that nodded to Booker's own heritage and suggested he would put it at the center of his pitch to voters.
Booker — a New Jersey Democrat who rose to prominence as Newark's charismatic and ambitious mayor — has at times favored a pragmatic approach in the Senate, teaming up with like-minded Republicans on issues like criminal justice
At 49, he is the youngest among his Senate colleagues in the race. His age is not all that sets him apart: Booker is unmarried and vegan, two unique qualities among the emerging Democratic field.
Here are some details on Booker's political record:
- Booker as mayor: It's unclear how Booker's record as mayor will play in the Democratic primary or beyond. Critics say Booker did not meet his lofty promises to reshape the city, with some progressives faulting his support for school choice, among other issues. But Booker's allies believe this chapter of his story will be an asset, affording Booker some distance from Washington and demonstrating his executive chops.
- Booker as senator: He has sought to sand off some of his rough political edges ahead of 2020, burnishing his progressive credentials by signing on to policies such as "Medicare-for-all." Last year, he announced he would no longer accept corporate PAC money; some progressives have been skeptical of Booker for the support he has received from Wall Street donors. Booker will also oppose super PACS supporting his candidacy or others.