AUGUSTA, NJ – Democrat Senator Cory Booker visited the Sussex County Fair on Saturday, to add words of support to recognition of Sussex County Veteran Aldo Sayer. Upon arrival Booker was surrounded by supporter and local democrat candidates including Senate candidate Jen Hamilton and Assembly Candidates Kate Matteson and Gina Trish.
Booker took time to take selfies with everyone who asked and gratefully received a gift of vegan cookies from a well-wisher.
“Can I trust you with these?” Booker said as he handed them to an assistant.
“It was great to see Senator Booker receive such a warm reception from our veterans and community,” Trish said. “We appreciate his leadership and support and look forward to work with him to help move Sussex County forward.”
After all the photos were taken, Booker made his way to the tent where he was introduced by Fair Grounds Manager Gary Larson.
“I’m going to put you on the spot senator,” Larson said. “In your jeans, you are almost wearing appropriate attire. It’s the jacket that is not quite fair attire.”
Booker took the podium addressing a crowd of about 75 people.
“I’m so happy to be here, almost in appropriate attire,” Booker said. “I’m so proud that the one issue I’ve found bipartisan support is commitment and supporting those who have fought for us.”
He thanked the veterans in the audience and recognized Sen. Steve Oroho’s son who serves in the military. Oroho was in the audience along with Sussex County Freeholder Phil Crabb and Sussex County Surrogate Gary Chiusano.
He spoke directly to Lt Commander Aldo Sayer Ret. who served in the Navy in World War II.
“I am in awe and honor for Aldo and our veterans,” Booker said. He explained that during the congressional recess he is going to all 21 counties in New Jersey where he “makes it a point to meet with vets.”
“Only five precent of the people in the world get to say, ‘I am and American,’” Booker said. “My father told me I drink from a well of liberty and freedom that I did not dig. I have to support those that have supported our country.”
He concluded with words to a “song he learned in elementary school 20 or 30 miles to the east of here, ‘Let freedom ring,’ doesn’t just happen. Freedom doesn’t just happen… It is because of the hard work of some,” Booker said.
“Today Senator Booker visited the New Jersey State Fair and paid tribute to our honored veterans,” Mattesen said. “He congratulated the growing Democratic Partin in the area. We are grateful to have a leader in the state who cares so much about New Jersey and Sussex County.”
“It's not every day that you have a U.S.Senator cheering you on in your State Senate campaign, so it was incredibly inspiring to speak with Senator Booker and have him tell me that he is excited that I am running,” Hamilton said. “But I have to say that the best moment of the afternoon was when he asked my nine-year-old daughter to wait to begin her Senate campaign until he was ready to give up his seat. Her whole face lit up. I think she will remember that moment for the rest of her life. As a parent, nothing could beat that.”