Sen. Cory Booker launches 2020 bid

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Cory Booker on Friday morning declared his candidacy for president.

As mayor of Newark, Cory Booker would get out during snowstorms to shovel the driveways and sidewalks of residents of the New Jersey city.

Booker has always been seen as rising star in the Democratic party but he will face tough competition from a diverse pool of other prominent members, including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Tulsi Gabbard and Julian Castro.

"I'm Cory Booker, and I'm running for president of the United States of America", says Booker in the video.

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In running as a relative newcomer to Washington, Mr Booker follows in the footsteps of another black American politician, Barack Obama, who left his Senate seat and ultimately won the presidency in 2008.

Booker said he would stop taking contributions from pharmaceutical companies in 2017, the year that he partnered with potential presidential rival Sen. Conway, a fellow New Jersey native, suggested he didn't have much of a record from his time serving in the US Senate - he was sworn in in 2013 - and as Newark mayor, a position he held for eight years.

However, when Mr Trump later fired Mr Sessions over his recusal in the Russian Federation investigation, Senator Booker said it was an "alarming development". "Remember he was pretending he was breaking with protocol in this Senate, that he was going to release confidential emails, and I believe it was Senator [John] Cornyn of Texas, reminded him that those had already been released". "Together, America, we will rise", he adds.

The Hill first reported the senator's impending announcement, as sources said Booker had approached members of the Congressional Black Caucus requesting their support. But he bears a hopeful, optimistic demeanor that could set him apart in the crowded Democratic field and contrast well with President Donald Trump's division.

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On Friday Cory Booker rolled out an inspirational-style video and will be hitting the road in Iowa and SC, starting what he hopes is the long journey to the Democratic nomination.

As many as five more Democratic senators could soon mount their own primary bids, creating a competition for voters' attention, and several of Booker's rival presidential hopefuls bring higher name recognition to a race that may also feature popular former Vice President Joe Biden. That includes what he described as his "Spartacus moment" during Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearings last fall.

With an elite law degree in hand, Booker bypassed more lucrative opportunities and moved into an affordable housing complex in one of Newark's poorest neighborhoods, planning to lend his skills to a nonprofit.

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