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Cory Booker Faces Newark Crime Wave Amid Campaign

Mayor Cory Booker

Mayor Cory Booker

Mayor Cory Booker, with six weeks left in his campaign for a U.S. Senate seat, is grappling with a surge in violence that has left nine people dead in his city in as many days.

Booker, a second-term mayor and rising star in the Democratic Party, announced the city will extend a summer deployment of increased police patrols in troubled neighborhoods, boost police overtime and deploy narcotics officers and tactical forces.

“The spate of violence that our city has seen over the last couple of weeks is unconscionable and drives me towards both anger and sadness,” Booker, who spent Labor Day weekend campaigning, said in a statement.

Among the nine people killed in Newark, the state’s biggest city, since Aug. 26 was a pizza delivery driver, who was robbed and shot. Five of the killings involved guns, drugs or gangs, and two were domestic incidents, police Director Samuel DeMaio said. The killings aren’t believed to be connected, and it appears all the victims were targeted.

Booker, who’s seeking to succeed the late Democratic U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, won the Democratic primary last month and has campaigned around the state, occasionally with celebrities including Eva Longoria and Oprah Winfrey.

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