WASHINGTON – Sen. Cory Booker announced on Friday his candidacy to be the 2020 Democratic nominee for president of the United States, joining a growing list of people hoping to lead the party against Republican incumbent Donald Trump.
“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 ... I’m Cory Booker and I’m running for president of the United States of America,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.
The 49-year-old Booker has represented New Jersey in the US Senate since 2013. He is the second African-American candidate to enter the race, following Sen. Kamala Harris of California.
Booker chose to announce his candidacy on the first day of Black History Month, which has become an annual observance not only in the US, but also in Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
“Together, we will channel our common pain back into our common purpose. Together, America, we will rise,” the New Jersey lawmaker said in the video.
Booker is scheduled to travel next week to Iowa, site of the Feb. 3, 2020, caucuses that are likely to provide the first test of the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination.
“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 said.
Booker, seen in 2016 as a potential vice presidential running mate for Hillary Clinton, is the latest entrant to a 2020 Democratic field that includes Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, among others
Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent who made Clinton’s path to the 2016 nomination unexpectedly difficult and remains one of the country’s most popular politicians, is widely expected to run, as is former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump says he plans to run for a second term and has already begun raising money for a campaign in 2020.