Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) was the mayor of Newark, NJ from 2006-2013 and he claims his experience governing one of America’s most famous cities gives him the expertise to know a good mayoral candidate when he sees one. Booker sees such a figure in Clay Middleton, the South Carolina native, military veteran and Citadel graduate who’s running for Mayor of Charleston. (His chief opponent is incumbent Mayor John Tecklenburg, a Democrat seeking a third term in office.)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared Booker’s endorsement of Middleton, writing that Middleton has “got my confidence” and urging the candidate to “go, fight, win.”
Middleton replied: “I’m humbled and grateful to have such remarkable public servants in my corner.”
Middleton is one of five candidates vying to unseat Tecklenberg, including Peter Shahid, Debra Gammons, Mika Gadsden, and William Cogswell.
Booker’s endorsement, along with Clinton’s, show that Middleton has some high-profile firepower in his corner — an interesting situation for a mayoral race. Whether the endorsements of two big-name elite Democrats known for being DC insiders is helpful to Middleton as he appeals to local South Carolina voters remains to be seen.
Clinton (like Joe Biden) lost South Carolina to Donald Trump in her presidential run, but Clinton beat Trump in Charleston by nearly 14,000 votes.
Booker’s Newark, with a population that is about 10 percent white and nearly 50 percent Black, is very different from Charleston, with a 70 percent white population and only 20 percent Black. Newark is also more than twice the size of Charleston, which has a population of about 150,000 citizens.
Yet Booker asserts that, as they say in sports, game recognizes game — and that by his estimation Middleton is the man for the job.
Clay’s just learning how to serve in pickle ball, but he’s a pro at serving the people. pic.twitter.com/Yv8gfRkya3— Clay Middleton (@claynmiddleton) September 6, 2023