Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Cory Booker the Favorite for NJ Senate Seat, but Still Has a Race to Win

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Cory Booker the Favorite for NJ Senate Seat, but Still Has a Race to Win

Article excerpt

Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark known for running into a burning building to save a neighbor, has officially announced that he'll seek New Jersey's open seat in the US Senate.

This isn't a surprise.

Mayor Booker is considered the clear favorite in the race. The Democratic mayor of New Jersey's largest city had already been public about his aspirations to serve in the US Senate. But the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) Monday changed the timetable dramatically.

Booker and his rivals for the seat face a two-month sprint for a special primary election, followed by an October special election to determine who goes to Washington.

And although Booker represents a formidable presence in the race from the get-go, he'll still have to seal the deal with voters - persuading them that he'll be the best to represent them on issues that go beyond the scope of a big-city mayor, ranging from foreign policy to federal taxes.

"I'm here today to officially announce my candidacy to be New Jersey's next United States senator," Booker said Saturday, flanked by former Sen. Bill Bradley at a Trenton news conference.

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He framed his candidacy as not about particular issues but about the nation's need for civic renewal, with less cynicism and partisan bickering.

"Democracy is not a spectator sport, [and] now as much as in any time, we must bring people together," he said. "We must get actually into the complicated difficult messy arena and take on the difficult challenges, work in uncommon ways with conviction and courage."

He said his track record is to run toward problems, not away.

He didn't reference the burning building episode directly, but that's one incident that backs up his pitch.

While heading home from work on a spring night in 2012, Booker and his security detail saw a residence ablaze. …

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