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The most intriguing metropolitan mayoral race occurred May 14 2002 when incumbent Sharpe James was sought an unprecedented fifth term However James would not be vying against the typical candidate The 66-year-old James was about to face the fight of his political life thanks to freshmen City Councilman Cory Booker Booker grew up in the wealthy suburb of Bergen County New Jersey He was named Mr Football of New Jersey in 1987 and attended Stanford University on an athletic scholarship In 1992 he traveled to Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship Upon his return to the US he attended Yale Law School Instead of embarking on a high paying law career Booker decided to move to Newark New Jersey and become an activist for black residents whom he believed were being supplanted by the inadequate administration of Mayor Sharpe James In 1999 Booker gained national attention by fasting and camping out next to a series of abject housing projects for ten days He was attempting to draw the publics attention to the lack of police protection for the law-abiding tenants from gang members and drug dealers Booker 2002 Soon afterwards Booker lived in a trailer for five months where each night he parked on street corners thus obstructing the normal routine of drug dealers Booker 2002 After seeing much Bookers activism on Fox News 60 Minutes and CNN I along with several political commentators and political strategist believed Cory Booker would be the next Mayor of Newark New Jersey To my utter chagrin my predications were wide of the mark about negative seven percent wide to be exact To understand why my chosen candidate failed I decided to analyze the vital elements of his campaign The first thing that came to mind was Corys age Cory at the time was 32 years old and was challenging a 66-year-old incumbent Sharpe and his cronies began to plant seeds of doubt and apprehension in the older
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