The Newark mayor has been popularly likened to President Obama throughout the years for his energetic charisma and dedication to reviving a disparaged city. Now the New Jersey Senate hopeful has been backed by the Commander-in-Chief himself.

President Barack Obama endorsed the candidate Wednesday, praising Booker for his lifelong commitment to helping underserved communities. He called Booker 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.”

“Cory Booker has dedicated his life to the work of building hope and opportunity in communities where too little of either existed,” the president said in a statement that was released by Booker’s campaign team. “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.”

Booker said that he was “humbled” by the President’s endorsement. The Yale Law School graduate has received a large amount of support from the African-American community throughout the course of his campaign, including a ringing endorsement from Oprah Winfrey nearly a year ago.

After winning the democratic primary this past month, Booker will face Rep. Steve Lonegan in an election on October 16 to fill the senate seat that was left empty after the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

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