NJ Sources: Booker Won't Challenge Gov. Christie, Will Seek Senate Seat

Thursday, 20 Dec 2012 11:20 AM

By Megan Anderle

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Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J., will not run for governor against incumbent Chris Christie next year. Instead, he has his eye on a Senate seat in 2014, The Star-Ledger reports.

The mayor of New Jersey's largest city is calling Democratic Party leaders Thursday morning to announce his decision. Sources, who asked to remain anonymous in advance of the official announcement, say he made the decision this week after months of deliberation.

Following Hurricane Sandy, Christie’s popularity has shot up. He had a 69 percent approval rating among registered voters, according to a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll, and 61 percent of voters think he deserves another term.

Booker, a promising candidate for the Democratic Party who many thought had a decent shot at unseating Christie, could face U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg in the Democratic primary, who has served five terms, in 2014 if he decides to run again.

Lautenberg, 88, would be 90 years old at the start of his six-year term if re-elected.

Booker’s decision has  Democrats wondering who will try to oust the Republican governor.

According to The Star-Ledger, State Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) was the first to throw her hat in the ring to take on Christie. State Sen. Richard Codey has come close to declaring but still has not stepped in. Senate president Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) are all considered potential challengers who may now enter the race.

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