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U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, kicked off his campaign Saturday in Newark, calling for community building, criminal justice reform, gun control, Medicare for all and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Booker told supporters that Saturday's rally was the launch of a two-week tour of the United States as he tries to make himself more visible in a pack of more than a dozen competitors. The mostly Democratic campaigners are all vying to replace incumbent President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
"The president wants a race to the gutter and to fight us in the gutter," Booker said to the crowd at Newark's Military Park, a revitalized green space. But "to win, we have to fight from higher ground in order to bring this country to higher ground."
From New Jersey, Booker plans to make stops in states that hold caucuses and primaries early in the presidential race, including Iowa, Georgia and Nevada.
Newark is where Booker made his political reputation, serving as a member of the municipal council and then the mayor from 2006 to 2013.