Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that if Newark Mayor Cory Booker chooses to challenge fellow Democrat, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, in 2014, he’ll back Lautenberg.
Booker announced Thursday that he’s mulling the idea of going for Lautenberg’s seat and won’t challenge Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who’s up for re-election next year. There is talk Lautenberg, 88, will retire rather than run again. Polls show the popular Christie would crush Booker.
As for Reid, "I always support incumbent senators," he told Politico
. "I would always support Lautenberg or anyone else that’s running for re-election."
That’s not to say Reid has anything against the idea of Booker becoming a senator. “He’s a very good man, he would be a good senator,” the majority leader said, noting that he had spoken to Booker. “Of course we have to work out a few issues, but he would be a wonderful senator.”
Reid said he doesn't know if Lautenberg will run again. A Lautenberg spokesman declined to comment on the issue Thursday, saying the senator is focused on a Superstorm Sandy relief bill. "This is not the time for political distractions, and the senator will address politics next year," Lautenberg spokesman Caley Gray told Politico.
In his announcement that he’s exploring a Senate bid, which appeared in the Newark Star-Ledger, Booker wrote, “As I explore a run for the United States Senate, I look forward to consulting with Sen. Lautenberg. During my lifetime, he has been one of New Jersey’s most important leaders. It would be a privilege to continue his great legacy of service.”
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