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U.S. Senator Cory Booker outside his Newark Central Ward home on February 1, 2019 after announcing his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination

Booker won’t say if he’s running two races in 2020

Senate announcements typically come later

By Nikita Biryukov, February 01 2019 3:30 pm

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker wouldn’t say whether he intended to run for the presidency and for reelection to his Senate seat simultaneously on Friday.

“I’m grateful New Jerseyans pulled together to make sure that that possibility is there, but my focus is running for president of the United States,” Booker said.

Late last year, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a bill that would explicitly allow New Jersey’s federal officeholders to run for reelection while seeking the presidency.

While the law did not bar that possibility, it was not explicitly allowed either, and without the passage of the so-called Booker bill, the senator would likely have faced legal challenges were he to run for both offices simultaneously.

It isn’t particularly odd that Booker would not say he was running for Senate, as sitting senators do not typically announce they are seeking reelection on Feb. 1 the year before their seat comes up for a contest.

Regardless, Booker’s focus at the moment is on the presidency.

“I will be running hard and going directly to the people, hand-to-hand, taking hands, knocking on doors — in many ways the way I started my career running for city council, going after the people,” Booker said. “And I intend to be the next president of the United States.”

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