On Saturday, Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced his candidacy for the New Jersey Senate seat vacated after the death of Senator Frank Lautenburg. Booker was considering a threat to run for the seat during the 2014 elections, but the death of Lautenburg has forced the state to stage a special election on October 16 of this year. The former Stanford receiver and Rhoders Scholar is considered a rising star wihin the Democratic Party and is also the overwhelming favorite because of his business development and his policies geared towards decreasing the city's crime rate during his six year tenure.
Two other Democratic candidates, Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, will face Booker in a competitive special election primary, now just 66 days away.
Asked about his competitors, Booker pledged to not “go negative” during the campaign.
“We have no intention of going negative,” he said, “because frankly the people I’m running against are people I know.”
But the mayor made a clear effort to differentiate himself from Pallone and Holt — two Washington veterans — as a Beltway outsider who could act, speak, and vote above politics. “This is what we need now — people who can help us transcend,” he said. “This is the unique experience I will bring to Washington, D.C. … not to talk about problems, but to run toward them.”
Lest that strategy be considered “going negative,” Booker was sure to add later, “I’m not knocking on the Washington establishment — I’m simply saying that we need another courageous voice in Washington, D.C., that’s willing to take risks.”