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New Jersey senator Booker expected in Anchorage next week

Nathaniel Herz
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., pictured here on March 28, 2009, will visit Anchorage next week for a series of community events and a fundraiser for the Alaska Democratic Party. Veni Markovsky / cc via Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker will visit Anchorage next week for a series of community events and a fundraiser for the Alaska Democratic Party.

Booker, the former mayor of Newark who was elected to the Senate last year, will appear at the fundraiser on Tuesday, a party spokesman said.

He will also speak to the Alaska Black Leadership Conference at the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club, and plans a meeting with a group of ministers and a town hall meeting with students at Bartlett High School, according to the office of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat who is running for re-election.

A spokesman for Begich’s campaign said the senator “likes to bring folks up and show them what Alaska’s actually like.”

Begich invited Booker to visit Alaska when Booker was elected, Croes added in a follow-up email, and "things finally worked out" during the Senate's August break.

The two serve together on the Senate Commerce Committee, "where there are vast difference between Alaska's unique needs and those of other states," Croes said.

Over the course of the summer, four members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet have visited Alaska, including the secretaries of the departments of commerce, energy, labor and transportation.

All held official events on their trips; three also appeared at fundraisers for Begich.

Booker is a charismatic politician who once ran into a burning house to rescue a woman inside. He was known for his advocacy for school reform and for charter schools as Newark’s mayor; he’s now formed an unlikely partnership with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to push for changes to the country’s justice system.

He has also been criticized as being better at self-promotion than getting material results when he was mayor.