Booker to headline South Carolina Democratic fundraiser

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) further fueled speculation he has his sights on a 2020 presidential run as he will headline a Democratic fundraiser in South Carolina in October.

He will attend the Orangeburg County Democratic Party's fundraising gala that will have over a thousand South Carolina Democrats in attendance on Oct. 18, according to the Associated Press.

"As I've traveled across the country campaigning, I've seen unprecedented enthusiasm for a new generation of Democratic candidates," Booker said in a statement to the AP. "Now, we must turn that energy into action."

South Carolina hosts the South's first presidential primary and is a key state to start building momentum in a campaign.

South Carolina's African American community has proven to be a potent political force, propelling Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to primary victories there in 2008 and 2016, respectively. Establishing early connections could pay dividends for Booker should he decide to run in 2020.

The report comes days after it was announced that Booker would also headline the Iowa Democratic Party's 2018 Fall Gala in October. Iowa is host to the first presidential caucus that sets the tone for the primary process. 

New Hampshire Democrats, constituents in another early presidential primary state and a general election swing state, also praised Booker for his sharp criticisms of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which he wielded to set himself apart from other potential 2020 contenders. 

Should Booker run, he'd likely face off against a crowded Democratic field, and he isn't the only possible 2020 competitor making early visits to key states.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has so far made trips to Iowa, Florida and South Carolina, among others. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has visited Iowa, North Carolina and New Hampshire, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has visited Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has made trips to Florida, Virginia and Ohio.

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