Booker Starting Senate Career Just In Time for Democrats

Being sworn in on Halloween, with big votes looming

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Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

Newark Mayor Cory Booker announces his plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat during a news conference in Newark, June 8, 2013.

Hours after resigning as mayor of Newark, Cory Booker arrived in Washington on Thursday to begin representing New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.

Booker was sworn into office at noon, replaced Republican Jeff Chiesa, who was appointed interim senator by New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie after Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat, died in office.

Booker restores the Democrats’ 55-45 majority in the Senate, and not a moment too soon for Majority Leader Harry Reid. In the hours after his swearing in, Senate Democrats will bring forward two nominations likely to require 60 votes to pass: Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Patricia Millet’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Politico reports.

Booker’s first day will include social calls as well. At 11 a.m., he met with Reid for a photo op, and at 3:15 p.m., he’s scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House.

Booker— who tweeted Thursday that it’s not his fault his jokes are as they are, because his name is one letter shy of “corny”— noted that he’s being sworn in on Halloween, but he’s apparently more frightened of the specter of Joe Biden than anything else.