Newark Mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker's father died this morning in Las Vegas.
Cary Booker was 76.
He suffered from Parkinson's Disease and recently suffered a stroke, according to the Booker campaign.
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"Many people in our city came to know and love Cary Booker. Mayor Booker's father was an inspiration to him, and someone the mayor has often credited with being a principal reason for him entering public service," James Allen, a spokesman for the City of Newark, said in a statement.
Cary Booker was from North Carolina. He was the son of a single mother. He and his wife, Carolyn, both worked for IBM and relocated their family to Harrington Park in Bergen County, New Jersey. According to the campaign website, housing rights activists helped the family buy their first home after they were initially turned down because of the color of their skin.
Cory Booker canceled his campaign events for the day and is with his family now, according to Silvia Alvarez, a spokeswoman for the campaign. Alvarez said many family members were already in the Newark area in anticipation of next week's election.
Cory Booker, a Democrat, is in the last few days of a race right now for a U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey. He is running against Republican Steve Lonegan to fill the seat vacated when Senator Frank Lautenberg died in June.
The special election is being held on Wednesday.
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