Sen. Cory Booker ends presidential bid

Sen. Cory Booker ends presidential bid

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced Monday that he is suspending his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The New Jersey senator's decision comes amid financial and polling difficulties his campaign has been facing as he failed to qualify for both the sixth Democratic debate last month the seventh debate set for Tuesday in Iowa, an early voting state.

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In an email to his supporters, Booker wrote: "It was a difficult decision to make, but I got in this race to win, and I've always said I wouldn't continue if there was no longer a path to victory."

"Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win – money we don't have, and money that is harder to raise because I won't be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington."

"I believed to my 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. 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," Booker wrote.

In a Medium article published Monday morning, Booker stated that the best way to defeat Trump in 2020 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 will carry this fight forward — I just won’t be doing it as a candidate for president this year,” Booker wrote. “It’s with a full heart that I share this news — I’ve made the decision to suspend my campaign for president.”

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Booker, who plans to run for reelection in the Senate, reported raising just $6.6 million in the last quarter of 2019, which paled in comparison to the amounts some of the other candidates raised during the last quarter. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was at the top of the list with $34.5 million, followed by South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg with $24.7 million, former Vice President Joe Biden ($22.7 million), and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren ($21.2 million).

Former Obama cabinet member Julian Castro also dropped out of the race earlier this year, endorsing Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president soon after.

Both Booker and Castro failed to meet the Democratic National Committee's criteria to qualify for last month's debate. In response, Booker, Castro, and the 7 remaining candidates penned a letter to the DNC asking it to change its debate qualification criteria for the January and February debates so they, and other potential candidates, could qualify.

In the letter, candidates also complained that the stringent qualification rules have narrowed down what they described as "the strongest and most diverse Democratic field in history."

“The escalating thresholds over the past few months have unnecessarily and artificially narrowed what started as the strongest and most diverse Democratic field in history before voters have had a chance to be heard,” the candidates wrote.

Booker's announcement marks the departure of yet another minority candidate from the Democratic race following Castro and Sen. Kamala Harris, who dropped out of the race earlier last month. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick remain the only candidates of color running for the Democratic nomination.

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