New Booker ‘Super PAC’ Airs a Message: We Don’t Need More Candidates. We Have Cory.



Nov. 14, 2019

Senator Cory Booker spoke about his criminal justice reform plan at a town hall event in Philadelphia on Oct. 28.Credit...


With Senator Cory Booker’s campaign still struggling to break through in fund-raising and at risk of being excluded from the Democrats’ December debate, a new super PAC has emerged from the swamps of New Jersey to support Mr. Booker. Its message: We don’t need more candidates, we’ve got Cory.

The super PAC, United We Win, was filed on Thursday, the same day that former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts announced he was entering the race. It takes aim at the increasingly public vexing in Democratic donor circles that the largest field of candidates in the party’s history needs yet another candidate.

The group said it planned to spend $1 million on Facebook and Instagram ads over the course of the next month. The ads will mainly target moderate Democrats across the country, though they will also feature issue-based themes, highlighting Mr. Booker’s progressive policies on issues like gun control and criminal justice reform.

Each ad will also act as a mechanism to acquire small-dollar donors, linking to a page that has a button to directly donate to Mr. Booker’s campaign. Mr. Booker is “less than 15,000” individuals away from reaching the 200,000 donor threshold for the December debate, according to campaign solicitation emails. (Mr. Booker has also not met the standard in any qualifying polls; he needs four.)

The super PAC was organized by supporters of Mr. Booker in New Jersey, including members within Gov. Philip D. Murphy’s political orbit. The senator from New Jersey has enjoyed immense support from his home state, with the entire Democratic congressional delegation and Mr. Murphy offering their endorsement en masse earlier this year.

“Our organization is supported by individuals who know Cory and have seen the transformative impact that has been made by his leadership and dedication to doing what’s right, from Newark to Washington,” said Philip Swibinski, a spokesman for United We Win.

But the super PAC also poses a challenge for Mr. Booker, who could use the additional resources but has also denounced super PACs. In February, after another super PAC, called Dream United, formed to support his nascent candidacy, his campaign told HuffPost that “Cory opposes super PACs aiming to support his or anyone’s candidacy for president.”

With the primary calendar having reached a new, more dire phase, however, other presidential candidates are turning to super PACs — risking liberal backlash — in efforts to prop up their candidacies. Recently, allies of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. set up a super PAC to augment his surprisingly cash-strapped campaign.

On Thursday, Mr. Booker’s campaign reiterated his opposition to all super PACs, including ones supporting his candidacy.

“Nothing has changed from what we said from the outset of this campaign,” said Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the Booker campaign.


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