Cory Anthony Booker (born April 27, 1969) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from New Jersey, in office since 2013. Previously he served as mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013. He attended Stanford University, where he played college football and received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Arts in sociology, before earning a Rhodes Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford. Upon returning home, he received his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. Booker began his political career as a Newark city councilor from 1998 to 2002. He ran for mayor in 2002, but lost to incumbent Sharpe James; he ran again in 2006 and won against deputy mayor Ronald Rice. During his tenure as mayor, Booker's priorities were reducing crime and encouraging economic development projects. He gained a national reputation for his personal involvement in public service, particularly through his use of social media tools such as Twitter to connect with constituents. Considered one of the most prominent Democrats in New Jersey, he became a candidate for the United States Senate in the 2013 special election to succeed Frank Lautenberg, who died in office. He won the Senate Democratic primary on August 13, 2013, and then won the general election against Steve Lonegan on October 16, 2013, becoming the first black U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Booker subsequently won the next regular election for the Senate seat against Jeff Bell in 2014.