President Obama has endorsed Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) for Senate in New Jersey, saying Booker would be an "important partner" in promoting his agenda if he makes it to the Senate this fall.

“Cory Booker has dedicated his life to the work of building hope and opportunity in communities where too little of either existed. Whether as a college student working in East Palo Alto or as mayor of New Jersey’s largest city, Cory has time and again taken on tough challenges, fought for the middle class and those working to join it, and forged coalitions that create progress - and that's the spirit he'll carry with him to Washington," Obama said in a statement issued by the candidate's campaign.

Obama went on to tout Booker's experience as mayor of Newark as evidence he's well-qualified to join the Senate.

"His passion for his city has helped create new jobs and attract some of America’s top businesses to Newark. Cory will be an important partner in our efforts to reduce gun violence, give every American a fair shot in a global economy, and make our country stronger," Obama said.

Booker was a prolific surrogate for the president during his 2012 reelection fight but came under fire from Democrats after criticizing the president's attacks on GOP nominee Mitt Romney's career in private equity.

The Newark mayor is often compared to Obama, as the two share similar career trajectories and have run campaigns on similar messages, both pledging to be innovative, post-partisan politicians.

Some have suggested Booker could be the nation's next black Democratic president, and while he has denied interest in running a national race in 2016, observers believe he could be a viable candidate in that race or beyond.

Booker faces GOP nominee Steve Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, N.J., in the October special election to replace deceased Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and is heavily favored to regain the seat.