Cory Booker, 44, is predicted to take New Jersey's Democratic primary this Tuesday. The general election, which is a special election scheduled for October, will put the mayor in the place of Senator Jeff Chiesa (R-N.J.) who held the temporary seat after the June 3 death of Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) Booker has enjoyed an overwhelming lead in the polls to take the senate seat, engaging actively on social media and engaging a vast range of supporters, but has also faced a deluge of criticism for his celebrity status and failure to implement lasting solutions to improve the troubled cities in New Jersey. Booker is beating out six New Jersey candidates in the polls (running against four Democrats and two Republicans competeing to succeed Lautenberg). Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. today.
Six Need-to-know Facts about Booker
1. He is the current mayor of Newark, N.J.
2. He was first elected in 2006, beating out Deputy Mayor Ronald Rice.
3. He previously served as Newark's City Councilor from 1998 to 2002.
4. He ran for mayor in 2002, losing to incumbent Sharpe James.
5. In 2009, President Obama offered Booker a spot to head the new White House Office of Urban Affairs Policy, but Booker turned the offer down, citing his commitment to Newark.
6. He is currently running for Senate against State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, a democrat from Essex, Rep. Frank Pallone of the sixth district, and Rep. Rush Holt, a democrat from the twelfth district.
Policymic's Must-Reads on Cory Booker:
- On his mastering of social media: "10 Leadership Secrets from Cory Booker's Twitter" (Andrea Chalupa)
- On his celebrity status: "NJ Special Election 2013: Is Cory Booker Ready to Move for Lautenberg's Seat?" (Caroline Cullen); "How Cory Booker's Policies Get Overshadowed by his Celebrity" (Jerome Nathaniel); "Cory Booker and the Politics of Egomania" (Michael Luciano)
- On the multimillion-dollar stake in Oprah-backed startup, Waywire: "Does Waywire Get in the Way of Cory Booker Doing his Job?" (Rachel George)
- On garnering donations from Mark Zuckerberg for Newark schools: "Cory Booker's Facebook Donation Problem" (Alina Tsui)
- On his $4-a-day diet to reduce the stigma of food stamps: "Cory Booker Food Stamp Challenge: This Might Just Be a 2016 Publicity Stunt" (Megan Malloy)
- On his political ambitions: "Cory Booker Senate Run: If he Wins, Can We Expect a 2020 Presidential Run?" (Chelsey Mullins)
Note: Booker wrote this piece for PolicyMic on DOMA and state responsibility in June.