2020 Democratic Primary Candidates: Cory Booker By Phillip Howard
Senator Cory Booker is one of many candidates in the crowded 2020 primary field of Democratic candidates. Booker has represented New Jersey since 2013 and previously served as mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013.
Booker is known for being an innovator on social media, which could work to his advantage, especially among younger voters. Criminal justice reform is a central issue. Booker sponsored the bipartisan First Step Act. The law expands job training and seeks to reduce recidivism among federal prisoners.
Booker criticized Bernie Sanders for his recent support of restoring voting rights to incarcerated individuals. Booker believed this overshadowed the larger problem of mass incarceration. His “focus is on liberating black and brown people and low-income people from prison,” so that “we don’t even have to have the debate about people’s voting rights, because they’re not going to prison in the first place.”
Booker’s messaging has emphasized unity. “When people join together,” Booker explains on his campaign website, “we can achieved the things other people tell us are impossible.”
This differs from most of Booker’s competitors, who have been more focused and outspoken in their negative criticism of President Trump. Booker has engaged the president, in terms of identifying problems, such as Trump’s handling of immigration, and advocating for a “revival of civic grace.”
Like many of his rivals, Booker has declared that he will not accept any corporate PAC donations. Booker has long been a prolific fundraiser with strong support from law, investment, real estate, and entertainment industries.
Booker, long thought to be a one day presidential candidate, finds himself in a field full of U.S. Senators. This helps explain his current polling, just over 2 percent, which places him in the top third of candidates, but not a front runner.
Phillip Howard is a graduate student at Utica College