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U.S. Senator Brings Presidential Campaign to Keokuk

Jason Parrott
U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) during a campaign stop in Keokuk.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) told a crowd of more than 50 at the Lost Canvas in downtown Keokuk that he is worried about the nation descending into division-based and fear-based politics.

“We are powerful when people come together, work together, stand together, see each other across the lines that divide us and affirm the ties that bind us with common cause and common purpose,” said Booker.

“We as Democrats have to watch each other, check each other, in this election so we do not take on the tactics of the person we are trying to replace. We cannot win a fight on his terms and his turf. The way we win this is to call on the higher aspirations of our nation again.”

Booker is one of nearly two dozen Democrats running for President in 2020. He is currently polling at about 4.5% in Iowa, which is seventh in the crowded field.

Booker used his roughly 20 minute speech to thank those in attendance for showing up and being part of the process. 

“We have to think bigger than that this election is about beating Donald Trump, getting one person out of office,” said Booker. “No, this has to be about something bigger because a lot of the problems we all are struggling with were going on long before Donald Trump was elected.”

Booker pointed to lead-laced drinking water, crumbling infrastructure, gun violence, struggling public schools, and income inequality as issues that have been around long before Trump was elected president.

“We have got to re-calibrate a little bit,” said Booker. “The fundamental floor must be, ‘Can you defeat Donald Trump?’ But that cannot end our aspirations. We are bigger dreamers and bigger thinkers than that. This has to be about reclaiming the destination of our Democracy.”

This story was produced by Tri States Public Radio.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the important issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.