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President Obama Endorses Cory Booker For U.S. Senate

"Booker has dedicated his life to the work of building hope," says Obama.

Posted on August 21, 2013, at 10:44 a.m. ET

Mel Evans / AP

President Barack Obama endorsed Cory Booker, the Newark mayor and Democratic nominee in the New Jersey Senate race, in a statement released by the Booker campaign Wednesday morning.

Booker, who served as one of Obama's most prominent surrogates during his 2012 reelection campaign, is expected to win the special election next month, replacing the late Frank Lautenberg in the Senate.

In the statement, Obama praised Booker's work as Newark mayor and what he described as a lifelong career of taking on "tough challenges."

The full statement from the president reads as follows:

"Cory Booker has dedicated his life to the work of building hope and opportunity in communities where too little of either existed. Whether as a college student working in East Palo Alto or as mayor of New Jersey's largest city, Cory has time and again taken on tough challenges, fought for the middle class and those working to join it, and forged coalitions that create progress - and that's the spirit he'll carry with him to Washington.

"His passion for his city has helped create new jobs and attract some of America's top businesses to Newark. Cory will be an important partner in our efforts to reduce gun violence, give every American a fair shot in a global economy, and make our country stronger."

When Booker was considering whether or not to run for Senate or governor late last year, the White House encouraged him to choose the former, according to multiple reports.

"I am humbled by President Obama's endorsement," Booker said in a statement released by his campaign. "If elected this October, I will go to the Senate to advance our shared vision of a nation where opportunity is available to anyone willing to work for it, and to ensure we're investing in the priorities that helped build America's middle class."

"I look forward to continuing to work with him to advance an agenda that spreads prosperity and ensures that our nation realizes the promise of its founding," he said.