New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker announces 2020 presidential campaign

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) on Friday announced that he would be seeking the Democratic nomination for president to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.

In his announcement video, Booker also notes that he is "the only senator who goes home to a low-income, inner city community" in Newark, "the first community that took a chance on me".

He continued: "I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, 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". He called on the people of the nation to prove they have the "collective will" to "channel our common pain back into our common goal". "Join me on this journey", Booker said in a tweet sharing the video.

Booker joins a growing field of candidates including Sen. He made it apparent he was likely to run with a couple of strategic moves, joining the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2017, as well as making frequent trips to early primary voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire to raise money and campaign for local candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.

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Booker plans to travel to Iowa the weekend of February 9, then to SC and New Hampshire over the following week, according to his campaign.

His campaign highlighted that Booker - like many of his primary rivals - would reject contributions from corporate political action committees (PACs) and federal lobbyists. They added that Booker - who turns 50 in April - will return to New Hampshire over President's Day weekend. Booker is notably the only vegan in the Senate.

"He's a person who operates between instincts, gut and faith", said Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana Democrat who's the most recent former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Bill Clark via Getty Images Sen.

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Newark Mayor Cory Booker, left, and Detective Robert Boyer, center, get help from Ali Muslim, 53, as they dig a person's vehicle from under the snow, January 27, 2011, in Newark, New Jersey. He grew up in New Jersey and served as mayor of Newark, where he now lives, from 2006 to 2013.

Booker's policy pushes have included calling for criminal justice reform, such as reduced sentences for nonviolent offenders, and combating climate change, such as by investing in clean energy.

Booker has been called out for his perceived defense of the powerful pharmaceutical industry: In 2017, he voted down a bill created to lower prescription drug prices.

While his savvy on both social and traditional media earned him a high profile, Booker has also faced criticism from progressives for appearing too close to both Wall Street and pharmaceutical companies, a major industry in New Jersey.

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Booker, 49, became the latest Democrat and the fourth US senator to announce a presidential bid in what is expected to be a crowded and diverse race to be the candidate to try to unseat President Donald Trump. In 2016, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) quietly vetted Booker as a potential running mate.

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