WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has officially endorsed Newark Mayor Cory Booker for the U.S. Senate.

“Cory Booker has dedicated his life to the work of building hope and opportunity in communities where too little of either existed. Whether as a college student working in East Palo Alto or as mayor of New Jersey’s largest city, Cory has time and again taken on tough challenges, fought for the middle class and those working to join it, and forged coalitions that create progress - and that's the spirit he'll carry with him to Washington.”

"His passion for his city has helped create new jobs and attract some of America’s top businesses to Newark. Cory will be an important partner in our efforts to reduce gun violence, give every American a fair shot in a global economy, and make our country stronger."

“I am humbled by President Obama’s endorsement,” Booker said in a news release this morning. “If elected this October, I will go to the Senate to advance our shared vision of a nation where opportunity is available to anyone willing to work for it, and to ensure we’re investing in the priorities that helped build America’s middle class.”

Booker is running against Republican Steve Lonegan for the seat of the late Frank Lautenberg. Yesterday, the conservative received the endorsement of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.