Newark Mayor Cory Booker is planning meetings with potential fundraisers to determine whether he has the support to take on Governor Chris Christie.
The Newark Star-Ledger
reports the well-liked Democrat will decide by mid-December whether to challenge the Garden State’s hugely popular Republican governor.
Sources told the newspaper that Booker make take at least one trip to California to speak with potential backers, and appear at a party hosted by Troy Carter, the manager of Lady Gaga and an entertainment-industry powerhouse.
“If Mayor Booker wants it, it should be his for the asking," former Governor James Florio said Tuesday at an election night party.
"He’s got the money and the name recognition."
Carter, who launched his career in Philadelphia working with rapper-turned-acting superstar Will Smith, donated $60,000 to the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina two months ago.
Booker’s charismatic appeal has translated to big bucks in the past. In the 2010 mayoral election, he raised more than $1 million from California donors, including from Carter and other entertainment bigwigs.
In preparation for his campaign-money hunt, Booker has hired Mather Martin, a fundraiser and veteran of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, the Star-Ledger said.
Sources told the newspaper the mayor has informed his political team to take a vacation over the Thanksgiving holiday and to get ready for a potentially busy December.
While Christie’s camp has been adamant about him seeking reelection, the possibility remains he’ll be tapped for a presidential run in 2016. Christie delivered the keynote address at this year’s Republican National Convention.
Other potential challengers for Christie’s seat, Christie’s include state Sen. Barbara Buono (Middlesex), Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assemblyman John Wisniewski.
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