U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker was escorted from a Senate building by police today after he prematurely attempted to move into his office, witnesses said.
Booker, who won a landslide victory in last week's Democratic Party primary for New Jersey's open Senate seat, reportedly began his move to Washington, D.C., despite still needing to win the general election in the fall.
According to witnesses, the Newark mayor arrived at the Russell Senate Office Building in a U-Haul truck and started carrying some boxes into the building.
"Where is my office? I was told I could have one with a view of the city so I can be on the lookout for crime," Booker told building staff. "And if anyone could give me a hand moving these (boxes) in, that would be great.
"I packed some of my weight-lifting equipment and that stuff is heavy, so make sure you use both legs to lift. Also, in this box there's a fine china tea set that a Newark woman gave me for rescuing her baby from quicksand, so be really careful with that.
"I would help but I'm already late to a committee meeting on providing affordable health care to military veterans and senior citizens."
Despite being repeatedly told by staff that he was not yet a senator and could not move in, Booker reportedly refused to leave the building.
"Now please stop wasting time and start moving these boxes to my office. There's a copy of the Constitution, an autographed photo of me and Oprah Winfrey, and a personalized fencing sabre from Mark Zuckerberg in this box, so be extra careful with it."
Washington, D.C. police arrived and escorted Booker from the building. A police spokesman said Booker was told to come back if and when he won the general election.
New man from New Jersey
Booker won the Democratic Party nomination for Senate on Tuesday night, and will face Republican Steve Lonegan in the October general election. He has long been the favored candidate to replace Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died in June.
Booker has been involved in Newark politics since 1998 and has served as mayor since 2006. He has attracted national attention from his active promotion of the city and his unusual acts of public service and heroism, which have included rescuing an elderly nun from a well and giving CPR to a military veteran at the Super Bowl.
When reached for comment, Booker confirmed the office incident happened but insisted that he was not wrong to begin his move to Washington.
"I'm from Newark, New Jersey, and we don't waste time waiting," he said. "I didn't wait for firefighters to rescue that woman, or for the snow plows to help dig out elderly citizens from heavy snowdrifts, and I'm not going to wait for an election to get started in the Senate working on behalf of the people of New Jersey.
"Plus, I wanted to get some measurements of my Senate office just to figure out if there was enough room for homeless blind children to spend the night instead of on the streets."