Booker announces White House bid

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (D-N.J.) on Friday announced that he is running for president in 2020.  

The former Newark, N.J., mayor made the announcement on the first day of Black History Month. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"The history of our nation is defined by collective action; by interwoven destinies of slaves and abolitionists; of those born here and those who chose America as home; of those who took up arms to defend our country, and those who linked arms to challenge and change it," Booker said in a video released Friday morning.

“I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind; where parents can put food on the table; where there are good paying jobs with good benefits in every neighborhood; where our criminal justice system keeps us safe, instead of shuffling more children into cages and coffins; where we see the faces of our leaders on television and feel pride, not shame,” he said.

"I'm Cory Booker and I'm running for president of the United States of America," he added. 

Booker’s announcement has been highly anticipated as he joins what is expected to be a crowded field of Democratic contenders against President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE

The New Jersey senator on Thursday began calling members of Congress, including senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus which Booker is a member of, to ask for their support.

Booker has long hinted at a 2020 bid, traveling on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to early primary state South Carolina, where African-American voters are a key constituency for the Democratic Party. 

More than half a dozen U.S. senators have declared they are running or are seriously considering White House bids in what is expected to be the most diverse field of candidates ever. 

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) have all announced campaigns and have already begun hitting the campaign trail.

Other senators who have indicated interest in running for the Democratic nomination in 2020 include Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). Sanders is reportedly preparing to launch a campaign that he’ll announce soon. 

Also running are Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardDemocrats debate in Houston: Who came out on top? Poll: Sanders and Biden now in statistical tie in New Hampshire Krystal Ball: Tulsi should be on the debate stage; Saagar Enjeti: Has the media given Biden a pass? MORE (D-Hawaii), former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyTrump campaign mocks Democratic debate: 'Another informercial for President Trump' The Hill's 12:30 Report: House panel approves impeachment powers Sanders slips in NH, Biden and Warren in statistical dead heat MORE (D-Md.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind.

Booker, if elected, would be the first unmarried man elected to White House since 1884. 

Booker, 49, is the youngest among his Senate colleagues in the race but he notes in his announcement video that he is  "the only senator who goes home to a low-income, inner-city community" in Newark, "the first community that took a chance on me."

Before his election to the Senate in 2013, Booker served as mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013, a tenure during which he started to build a national profile as a politician savvy with social media.

Booker easily defeated his Republican opponent in a special election in 2013 to fill the seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). He was elected to a full term in 2014.

In 2017, Booker was one of a few potential 2020 hopefuls who was named to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

He’s also made national headlines during hearings for Trump nominees as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including during the contentious hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughProgressives call for impeachment inquiry after reported Kavanaugh allegations Harris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate MORE.

The senator was also active during the 2018 midterms, campaigning alongside Democrats in their successful effort to take back control of the House in November.

But Booker is among a number of Democratic hopefuls that are likely to face scrutiny over their ties to Wall Street and money they’ve previously received from financial institutions.

Scott Wong and Mike Lillis contributed to this report which was updated at 7:53 a.m.