New Jersey U.S. Senator Corey Booker (225896)
Credit: (Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA)

New Jersey U.S. Senator Cory Booker announced this week that he’s suspending his campaign for the Democratic nomination for U.S. President in the 2020 presidential election. He made the announcement via email to supporters and on YouTube video.

“It’s with a full heart that I share this news—I’ve made the hard decision to suspend my campaign for president,” Booker said. “I’ve said throughout this race that this election is not just a referendum on Donald Trump. It’s a referendum on who we are and who we must be to each other…And over the past year, I’ve seen the very best of who we can be. To my team, supporters, and everyone who gave me a shot—thank you. I am so proud of what we built, and I feel nothing but faith in what we can accomplish together.”

Booker announced his candidacy for the presidential nomination in February 2019. He received endorsements from Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, senior New Jersey U.S. Sen. Bob Melendez, Gov. Phil Murphy and singer Jon Bon Jovi. Booker participated in five Democratic Party presidential debates; however, he didn’t qualify for the December 2019 debate.

“Cory’s ideas and ideals have undoubtedly left a mark on this race, becoming our national voice on criminal justice reform and putting forth the most sweeping and aggressive plan to attack the epidemic of gun violence destroying lives and communities,” Melendez said in a statement.

During his campaign, Booker, along with U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, introduced a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime. He also supported an increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

In April 2019, Booker introduced a bill to form a commission for the study of reparation proposals for African Americans. He said the bill is a way of addressing the persistence of racism, white supremacy and implicit racial bias. He also said it will bring together several experts to study the issue and propose solutions that will begin to right the wrongs of historical racial inequalities in America.

Now that Booker is out of the race, questions linger about who he should back for the Democratic presidential nomination. According to an online poll conducted by political website Insider NJ, over 50% of those who took the poll said Booker should back Pete Buttigieg while 45% percent say he should back Andrew Yang.