In brief: Booker announces run for U.S. Senate
Washington – Cory Booker, who built a national profile for a hands-on style of leadership as mayor of Newark, N.J., Saturday entered the race for New Jersey’s vacant Senate seat, vowing to bring the same energy to change another city: Washington.
“Too many people have come to believe that Washington, D.C., is a place where nothing can get done,” Booker said. “I tell you today that I reject that attitude. We in New Jersey won’t ultimately accept this attitude, especially when we know we can do more.”
Booker, 44, had been expected to run for the Senate in 2014, but Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s death Monday, and Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to hold a special election Oct. 16 to fill the seat, has forced him to speed up his campaign.
Booker will face challengers who question whether his high profile has helped his struggling city as much as it has benefited the mayor himself. They include Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone, who has more than $3.4 million in his campaign chest.
Equipment operator surrenders to police
Philadelphia – A heavy-equipment operator with a lengthy rap sheet who is accused of being high on marijuana when a downtown building collapsed onto a thrift store, killing six people, surrendered Saturday to face charges in the deaths, police said.
Sean Benschop faces six counts of involuntary manslaughter, 13 counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of risking a catastrophe.
Authorities believe the 42-year-old Benschop had been using an excavator Wednesday when the remains of the four-story building gave way and toppled onto an attached Salvation Army thrift store, killing two employees and four customers and injuring 13 others.