Obama Endorses Cory Booker's US Senate Bid

The president praised the Newark mayor's dedication to building hope and opportunity.

Posted: 08/21/2013 12:49 PM EDT

There's little doubt that Newark Mayor Cory Booker will be heading to the U.S. Senate this fall, but on Wednesday his candidacy got a major boost: an endorsement from President Obama. The nation's top Democrat said that Booker will be "an important partner" on key issues.

"Cory Booker has dedicated his life to the work of building hope and opportunity in communities where too little of either existed," the president said in a statement released by Booker's campaign. "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."

Booker will face Republican Steve Lonegan in the special election on Oct. 16 to fill the seat left empty by the death of Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg. He currently leads his opponent by 16 points, according to a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll released Tuesday.

“I am humbled by President Obama’s endorsement,” Booker said. “If elected this October, I will go to the Senate to advance our shared vision of a nation where opportunity is available to anyone willing to work for it, and to ensure we’re investing in the priorities that helped build America’s middle class."

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 (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

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