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Booker drops out of Democratic primary

ap photo In this Jan. 9 photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks with attendees after a campaign event in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Another Democratic hopeful for president dropped out of the race Monday, as Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) announced he was suspending his campaign immediately.

Booker said in a press release that a lack of funding, his inability to qualify for Tuesday’s Democratic debate in Des Moines and impending impeachment discussions in the Senate as reasons for suspending his campaign.

“It was a difficult decision to make, but I got in this race to win,” Booker said. “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.”

Booker was the first 2020 presidential candidate to visit Marshalltown, first showing up in Feb. 2019 at Iowa River Brewing Co. to call for Democratic Party unity, detail his past of overcoming racial discrimination and more in a stump speech. He visited Marshalltown again in September of 2019 at an annual barbecue hosted by Iowa State Rep. Mark Smith (D-Marshalltown), who endorsed Booker’s candidacy.

“I spoke to Sen. Booker this morning,” Smith said. Smith expressed his disappointment that Booker’s campaign is ceasing because of the potential he saw in Booker as a candidate.

“As a result, I worked very hard to convince people [to support him]. I am disappointed.”

Smith said he would take a step back and “wait and see” before endorsing any other candidacy.

Booker was polling at 2.7 percent in the latest Iowa Poll from the Des Moines Register, putting him out of contention for the debate being held Tuesday night on Drake University’s campus. He joins Marianne Williamson, Julian Castro and Kamala Harris as some of the candidates from a large Democratic field to suspend operations in recent weeks. Less than a month remains until the Iowa Caucuses take place on Feb. 3.

Booker ended his letter to fans with a final message of hope for the coming election.

“We may have not reached our ultimate goal, but over the last year I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many incredible, inspiring, engaged people all over this country, and I am more confident now than ever that together we will rise,” he said.

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Contact Noah Rohlfing at 641-753-6611 or nrohlfing@timesrepublican.com.

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