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Book that Ticket to the Senate

Shimmy Blum

When Cory Booker won the Democratic special election primary last week, his ascension from Newark mayor to US senator drew one step closer. Mishpacha was there to take in the celebration festivities, and to gauge the wave that is backing the Torah-quoting Rhodes scholar all the way to Washington.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Newarkmayor and Democratic US Senate nominee Cory Booker’s primary-election-night celebration had a distinctly down-home, local feel.

The festivities were not held in a posh upscale hotel ballroom, but rather in the outdoorChampionshipPlazasquare, adjacent to the largePrudentialCenterarena. But for the myriad police and media vehicles surrounding the perimeter, and the large Booker for Senate campaign bus parked in the plaza, it could have easily passed as a local community festival.

The hundreds who trickled in throughout the night came from a mixed ethnic blend and were for the most part casually dressed. The food options consisted of a choice between hot dogs and pretzels. However, there was no mistaking that history was unfolding when the Associated Press announced that Mayor Booker had won the race by attracting nearly 60 percent of the vote in a race against two well-entrenched Democratic congressmen and the speaker of theNew Jerseystate assembly.

Among the men with black yarmulkes attending the celebration was Assemblyman Gary Schaer, a Democrat. “Cory Booker is not only a statewide figure, but a national figure,” he said. “He is genuine, extremely bright, and understands the issues facing both Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael.”

Speaking to Mishpacha, Mayor Booker delivered a direct message for the broader Jewish community. The freshly minted nominee refrained from committing to specific Jewish community events during the ultra-short general election campaign, but he said that his record of extensive Jewish outreach speaks for itself. “I’ll continue doing what I’ve been doing for the past 15 to 20 years,” he said. “The Jewish People are a central part of my life.”


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