As the field for the 2020 presidential election take shape, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker announced his plans to run for the Democratic Party nomination.
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Here are some things to know about the 49-year-old New Jersey Democrat:
- Booker was born April 27, 1969, in Washington. He grew up in Harrington Park, New Jersey.
- Booker was recruited out of high school to play football for Stanford University, though his college football career was lackluster. He was pushed off the team before his final year of eligibility with 20 catches, one touchdown and one start to his record, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
"It was like the first time in my life I ever felt like I failed at something," Booker told the newspaper. "It was one of the toughest blows to my ego I've ever taken."
- After Booker was pushed off Stanford’s team, an art teacher at the university encouraged him to apply for a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, which he was awarded, the Inquirer reported. He earned an honors degree in history from the University of Oxford and continued on to Yale Law School, where he earned his doctorate of jurisprudence in 1997.
- One year later, at 29, Booker was elected to serve on the city council of Newark, New Jersey. He later served as the city’s mayor before becoming a U.S. senator in 2013.
- Booker is a bachelor, a fact that could affect his chances of being elected if he chooses to join the race for the White House. A bachelor hasn’t been elected to serve as president since the 1880s, according to CNN.
- Booker has been dogged by the perception that he’s overly friendly with the financial industry. The Star-Ledger reported he is among the top recipients of Wall Street money in Congress.
“That’s been his vulnerability from the time he started to be floated as a candidate,” Julian Zelizer, a political science professor at Princeton University, told The Star-Ledger. “He is a Democrat who has not shied away from connections to Wall Street.”