cory booker nov. 11 (3)

Sen. Cory Booker speaks to potential Iowa caucusgoers Nov. 10 at Torrent Brewing Company in Ames. The then-presidential candidate discussed his plan to empower small towns and rural communities.

Cory Booker ended his presidential campaign Monday, calling it a “difficult decision" to make."

The New Jersey senator entered the presidential race in early February 2019, coinciding with the start of Black History Month. Booker and Kamala Harris, the only African American Democratic senators, both ran for president though dropped out before any votes were cast.

In a press release, Booker said he entered the presidential contest because he “believed to [his] core that the answer to the common pain Americans are feeling right now, the answer to Donald Trump’s hatred and division, is to reignite our spirit of common purpose to take on our biggest challenges and build a more just and fair country for everyone.”

“I’ve always believed that," Booker said in the press release. "I still believe that. I’m proud I never compromised my faith in these principles during this campaign to score political points or tear down others. And maybe I’m stubborn, but I’ll never abandon my faith in what we can accomplish when we join together. I will carry this fight forward — I just won’t be doing it as a candidate for president this year.”

Booker fell short of qualifying for recent presidential debates. He cited the debates, fundraising and the possibility of an impeachment trial keeping him in Washington during January which would otherwise be critical campaigning weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

Despite ending his own campaign, Booker said in the release he would work to elect the party’s nominee as president.

“I will be doing everything in my power to elect the eventual Democratic nominee for president, whomever that may be, and to elect great Democrats to the Senate and up and down the ballot,” Booker said in the press release. “2020 is the most important election of our lifetimes — we have to beat Donald Trump... but beating Trump is the floor, not the ceiling.”

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