Reflections On: Meeting Cory Booker and Kay Hagan

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With United States Senator Cory Booker at the Democrats for Education Reform Annual Education Party in Boston’s historic SoWa Power Station and Trolley Barn.

It took several tries, but it finally happened. First, there was the event with Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim in 2013 that I wasn’t allowed into, followed by an event with former U.S. Senator Kay Hagan last semester, then I unknowingly crashed a private party because Google Maps wasn’t accurate enough, before actually meeting him at the Democrats for Education Reform Annual Education Party, not far from my voting location in Boston’s historic South End (I had walked by my polling location on the way to the event). He played college football at Stanford, has received a BA in PoliSci and Masters in Sociology, before earning a Rhodes Scholarship at Queen’s College Oxford, and finally receiving his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. He stayed in Newark following school at Yale before eventually running for Mewark City Council. In 2002, he announced a campaign against incumbent Newark Mayor Sharpe James, losing 47% to 53%. He ran again for Mayor of Newark against Deputy Mayor Ron Rice, outspending Rice’s campaign 25 to 1, and winning the election with 72% of the vote. His slate of City Council candidates, called the “Booker Team,” also swept the council elections. He ran for re-election in 2006 winning with 59% of the vote, but only seven out of nine council candidates won re-election. On December 20th, 2012, he announced that he would be exploring a run for United States Senate in 2014, the seat occupied by Frank Lautenberg. On June 9th, he announced he would run for the open seat. On August 13th, 2013, he was declared winner of the Democratic Primary in a crowded race. On October 31st, 2013, he was sworn into the Senate.

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With former United States Senator Kay Hagan at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

It was much easier to meet former U.S. Senator Kay Hagan. She earned a BA degree from Florida State University in 1975, and a JD from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1978. Prior to getting elected, she worked in the financial industry, becoming Vice President of North Carolina’s largest bank, NCNB, as well as a county campaign manager for Jim Hunt’s gubernatorial campaign. She was elected to North Carolina’s General Assembly as a State Senator for the 32nd District in 1998, walking the district with her Uncle, Lawton Chiles, who served as the Senior Senator of Florida from 1971 to 1989, and as the 41st Governor of Florida from 1991 until 1998. On October 30th, 2007, she announced her candidacy against incumbent U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole. The DSCC expended more money in North Carolina than in any other state during the 2008 election.

Quite infamously, in October, the Dole campaign released the attack ad above that stated Hagan had been taking “Godless money.” Of course, as a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro, and former Sunday School teacher, Hagan cited it a “fabricated, pathetic ad.” Her campaign released the following ad:

In the November election, she won with 53% of the vote, and dropped a lawsuit over the ‘godless’ TV ad. In 2014, as the election was approaching,, the Koch Brothers targeted her seat with $8.2 million on TV, radio, and digital ads. She lost to Republican Thom Tillis in the most expensive race in 2014.

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