CLAREMONT — Presidential hopeful, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., swung through the Upper Valley Friday, one of the few candidates to hit the region since the primary election season began.
Booker, one of the several candidates already declared in the crowded Democratic field, promised to a packed house at the Buckley & Zopf law firm offices on Broad Street that if he is elected he will put the country to work.
“If you all elect me your President … I’m going to ask for more from you,” Booker said.
Booker said that as much as many in the room want change in the White House, the country cannot go back to business as usual. He said communities throughout the country are still in need no matter who is President.
“All of those issues went on before Donald Trump,” Booker said.
Booker said the shared American values of sacrifice and serviced for the good of others need to be rejuvenated in order for the country to make progress on health care, the environment, and a host of other issues.
“This is not going to change just by changing who’s in the White House,” he said.
Booker used his life story, with his family needing help of Civil Rights activists to be able to buy a house in New Jersey in the 1960s after facing racial discrimination. He said the choices of the volunteers who helped his family are still having positive impacts on the world.
“When one American stands up, it ripples out into the universe and changes it,” Booker said.
The senator is trying to gain traction in the race, which sees former Gov. John Hickenlooper, Gov. Jay Inslee, senators Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, former representatives Beto O’Rourke and John Delaney, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and guru Marianne Williamson, and tech executive Andrew Yang as the declared candidates. Still in the wings are Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand, former Vice President Joe Biden and others.
Booker stopped at the Salt Hill Pub in Lebanon before coming to Claremont. Having a candidate in any part of western New Hampshire has been a rarity so far during this campaign, said Sullivan County Democratic Party Chair Judith Kaufman. Claremont has seen Warren and Gabbard in the past few months, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected Sunday, as part of his run up to a possible announcement.