NEWARK - Newark Mayor Cory Booker has officially announced his bid for the late Frank Lautenberg's U.S. Senate seat.

Booker made the announcement this morning at a press conference in Newark. He was introduced by former Sen. Bill Bradley, who Booker called a friend and inspiration. Citing his work as mayor of Newark, Booker said he does things differently and vowed to take his vision to Washington.

"We didn't sit back, spouting ideology from the bleachers," said Booker. "I will fight this fight on our behalf."

Booker said he hopes to work on big issues, such as gun control and student debt.

"I am here because I believe people who care can find solutions to even the most difficult problems."

Booker also acknowledged Sen. Lautenberg, who died last week. "From his service in World War II to his assiduous work and advocacy in the U.S., we are blessed by his contributions," said Booker.

Other Democrats running for the seat include Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt and State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan will be running on the Republican ticket.

Primaries for the seat will happen in August, with a special election in October.

To watch Booker's news conference, click the video to the left or go to News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.