NJ governor signs law allowing Cory Booker to run for both the Senate and the presidency in 2020

NJ governor signs law allowing Cory Booker to run for both the Senate and the presidency in 2020
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a law clarifying that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) can run for both his U.S. Senate seat and the presidency in 2020. Booker has reportedly already raised $7.7 million for his re-election campaign by Sept. 30. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed a law that will make it easier for Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to run for his U.S. Senate seat and the presidency in 2020.

What does the new law say?

NJ A4674 (18R) states:

No provision of Title 19 of the Revised Statutes, or of any other law, rule, or regulation shall be interpreted as to prevent a person from accepting a nomination by petition in the manner provided by R.S.19:13-8 or consenting to the acceptance of a nomination in a petition for a primary or general election in the manner provided by R.S.19:23-7 for the offices of Member of the United States House of Representatives or United States Senator and President or Vice President of the United States to be filled at the same general election. Notwithstanding any provision of Title 19 of the Revised Statutes or any other law, rule, or regulation, a person may appear on the ballot as a candidate for the offices of Member of the United States House of Representatives or United States Senator and President or Vice President of the United States simultaneously.

Couldn’t Booker already do that?

Possibly. The laws vary by state, and New Jersey’s old law regarding holding more than one state elective office simultaneously probably would not have prevented Booker from running for president, but it was more vague.

The new law that Murphy signed, unofficially nicknamed “Cory Booker’s Law,” clarifies that point. This clarification would prevent anyone from trying to contest Booker’s ability to run for both offices at once.

What does this mean?

For starters, this means that not only is Cory Booker serious about running in 2020, but the Democratic Party in his own state is serious about doing their best to make that happen.

But Booker is also serious about staying in the Senate if loses the presidency or fails to win the Democratic nomination. According to NJ Advance Media, Booker had already raised $7.7 million for his re-election campaign by Sept. 30. That’s more than any other U.S. senator running for re-election in 2020 has raised so far.

What else?

Not everyone in the state was for the move. State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R), who represents parts of New Jersey’s Bergen and Passaic Counties, said that if Booker wants to run for the presidency, he should have to make a choice about his Senate seat.

“Spartacus had the courage to make decisions. He ain’t no Spartacus,” Cardinale quipped.

Cardinale was referring to a moment when Booker announced that he was releasing “confidential” documents during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Booker said that the moment was “the closest I’ll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment,” referring the 1960 Kirk Douglas movie based on the life of an infamously rebellious first century B.C. Roman gladiator.

However, the batch of documents that Booker released immediately after making this statement were no longer confidential by the time he released them.