Baltimore Insider

Sen. Cory Booker and Rosario Dawson have Maryland’s Ben Jealous to thank for their relationship

Rosario Dawson and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker apparently met at a Ben Jealous fundraiser.

Gubernatorial candidate, NAACP president and now matchmaker. Maryland’s own Ben Jealous got a shout out from Sen. Cory Booker this week for his role in introducing the lawmaker to his new girlfriend, actor and activist Rosario Dawson.

Booker, of New Jersey, said this week that he met Dawson at a fundraiser for Jealous while he was campaigning to be Maryland's Democratic nominee for governor. Booker endorsed Jealous for governor in 2017.


Dawson, who has endorsed various campaigns over the years, confirmed in early March that the two were dating. Booker spilled more details about how the couple met during a CNN town hall meeting Wednesday in Orangeburg, S.C.

“I have an incredible girlfriend,” Booker said at the event. "She is just simply amazing and I am hopeful, as is my mother.”


When Booker was first introduced to Dawson at Jealous’ fundraiser, he said she “didn’t give me the time of day.”

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The two later met a second time, and Booker said he seized on the opportunity to ask Dawson out.

“I had one of those really awkward experiences,” he said of the exchange. “I'm a United States senator and I had to get up the courage to walk up to her and ask for her for her phone number.”

Despite his nervousness, Booker said she agreed to give him her number.

“I'm very lucky to be in a relationship with someone who is just so incredibly special but more importantly has taught me so much in very short amount of time,” he said.

Booker announced in February his intentions to run for president in the 2020 election. Dawson spent time last fall rallying to improve voter turnout in the Latino community before Election Day.

Jealous lost his gubernatorial bid to the Republican incumbent, Gov. Larry Hogan. He has since started a Baltimore-based investment firm named 20X.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.