U.S. Senator Cory Booker holds a hometown kickoff rally today to become the first New Jerseyan to win the presidency since Gov. Woodrow Wilson in 1912.
Booker is one of two Bergen County native to seek the presidency next year. Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Maryland) grew up in Wood-Ridge, attended Bergen Catholic High School, and went to college on a scholarship provided by his father’s union, IBEW Local 164.in Paramus.
Delaney ousted a Republican congressman in 2012 and gave up the seat last year to seek the presidency.
In 1960, New Jersey’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention were pledged to Gov. Robert Meyner, the favorite-son candidate. Meyner was interested in the presidency, but never formally entered the race; he had hoped that delegates might turn to him as their candidate if the convention deadlocked between John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
New Jersey magazine publisher Steve Forbes sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000. In the week following his third place finish in the 1996 New Hampshire primary, Forbes won primaries in Delaware and Arizona, but those were his only victories.
Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2000 against Vice President Al Gore. Bradley won no primaries that year.
Gov. Chris Christie ran for president in 2016, but withdrew after a poor showing in the New Hampshire GOP primary.
Former U.S. Senator Jonathan Dayton sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1860 against Abraham Lincoln. At the national convention in Chicago, Dayton received 14 votes on the first ballot – all from New Jersey. He lost four New Jersey delegates to Lincoln on the second ballot. On the third ballot, New Jersey gave Lincoln eight votes, with five going to William Seward and just one holding for Dayton. Lincoln won the nomination on the third ballot.