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U.S. Senator Cory Booker is sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on January 3, 2021. He's accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. (Photo: C-SPAN.)

Booker sworn in for third time as U.S. Senator

After taking oath from Joe Biden in 2013 and 2015, Mike Pence swears in Booker this time

By David Wildstein, January 03 2021 12:46 pm

Cory Booker was sworn in today for the third time as a United States Senator from New Jersey after winning re-election in 2020.

Booker was sworn in by outgoing Vice President Mike Pence.  His previous two oaths, in 2013 and 2015, were administered by then-Vice President Joe Biden.

A former three-term Mayor of Newark, Booker received 2,541,178 votes in 2020, the most votes cast for any statewide candidate in New Jersey history.

Booker defeated Republican Rik Mehta by 724,126 votes, 57%-41%.  With 1,817,052 votes, Mehta also set a record as the top all-time vote-getter among New Jersey Republican statewide candidates.

The 51-year-old Booker sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.  He withdrew in January 2020 after eleven months in the race.

A Rhodes Scholar and former Urban Justice Center lawyer, Booker moved to Newark during his final year at Yale Law School.  In 1998, at age 29, he challenged Central Ward councilman George Branch, a four-term incumbent who was 40 years older.

Booker forced Branch into a runoff after trailing him by just 340 votes in the May non-partisan election.  He won the runoff with 55% of the vote.

In 2002, Booker challenged four-term Newark mayor Sharpe James and held him to a 3,494-vote win, 53%-46%.

Booker never stopped running and James bowed out when his fifth term ended in 2002.  Booker was elected mayor by 21,797 votes (72%-23%) against State Sen. Ronald Rice and two others.

He was re-elected four years later by a margin of 9,175 (59%-35%) against former Essex County Prosecutor Clifford Minor.

Following U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg’s death in June 2013, Booker became a candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.  He won a special August primary with 59%.  Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) finished second with 20%, followed by Rep. Rush Holt (D-Hopewell) with 17% and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) with 4%.

In the October special general election, Booker defeated former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan by 147,058 votes, 55%-44%.

He was re-elected in 2014 by a 56%-42% margin – 252,569 votes – against former Reagan speechwriter Jeff Bell.

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