Oprah Winfrey has only publicly supported two politicians — first President Barack Obama, and now Newark mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker.
On Thursday, the media mogul joined the New Jersey Senate hopeful for a fundraiser at Liberty House restaurant in Jersey City. Tickets for the high-profile event cost donors between $1,000 and $2,600.
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Sources say actor Denzel Washington also in attendance and the Booker raised about $250,000 that evening.
Although the star-studded event was a success, the candidate also received criticism for not attending the NAACP forum, which took place the same night.
Meanwhile, in Newark where Booker is mayor, three candidates competing against Booker answered written questions from the audience about Social Security, Medicare and civil rights issues. Newark NAACP President Deborah Gregory said it would have been great if Booker had brought Winfrey to the forum.
Booker’s Democratic opponents criticized him for raising money instead of answering questions. A Booker spokesman said the fundraiser was scheduled before the campaign was invited to the forum.
The campaign of Congressman Frank Pallone, who is competing against Booker, released a statement about the absence.
“Mayor Booker has chosen time and again to skip debates and forums in favor of photo-op runs, ribbon cuttings and fundraisers with celebrities. The mayor’s decision this evening to skip the NAACP candidate’s forum in his own city in order to rake in cash with Oprah Winfrey is simply more of the same,” the campaign said in a statement. “Public service demands that individuals be present and accountable and the empty chair on stage tonight should give voters pause as they consider their choice for Senate.”
What do you think about Cory’s choice to skip the NAACP event for an Oprah fundraiser? Hit or miss?
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