Booker first ad: I’ll run toward problems in D.C.

File Photo: Newark Mayor Cory Booker talks during a news conference in in Newark, N.J. in April 2012.
File Photo: Newark Mayor Cory Booker talks during a news conference in in Newark, N.J. in April 2012.
Julio Cortez/AP Photo File

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is the first candidate with ads on air in the New Jersey Senate special election, with a statewide cable buy telling voters he’ll confront problems head-on in D.C. if elected.

“I’ve spent my career not running from challenges, but toward them,” says Booker, who once ran into a burning house to help a woman.

“In Newark, we got guns off the street, attracted new businesses, created new jobs, and improved our public schools,” Booker boasts of his seven-year tenure, which has come under scrutiny. “I’ve proven that by bringing people together, even with big problems, we can make big progress and improve people’s lives.”

“Now I’m asking to be your senator,” says the mayor. “Washington ducks our problems. I won’t.”

Booker is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination where he faces Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, along with New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, in an August primary. A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month showed Booker with a wide lead over his closest rivals to succeed the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg. New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie has called for a special general election on October 16.

While the Newark mayor is the best known in the Garden State field, his other rivals have taken different tacks to separate themselves. In a web ad released last week, Holt, a rocket scientist, said he hopes voters could be wooed by a nerd and Jeopardy! champion instead of the celebrity mayor.

“I’ll be the first to admit–I’m no Cory Booker,” said Holt. “I don’t have a million Twitter followers, I’ve never run into a burning building, and I’m not friends with Mark Zuckerberg, though I did like him on Facebook.”

Watch Booker’s ad below:

Booker first ad: I'll run toward problems in D.C.