Newark Democratic Mayor Cory Booker will decide by mid-December whether to run for governor of New Jersey in 2014, two sources familiar with his thinking tell The Newark Star-Ledger
If Booker won the nomination, he would almost surely face incumbent Republican Chris Christie.
"If Mayor Booker wants it [the Democratic nomination], it should be his for the asking," former Gov. James Florio said Tuesday night. "He’s got the money and the name recognition." And other New Jersey politicos agree.
Before deciding, Booker plans to travel to California to see if he would be able to raise money there, the sources say. Democrats often draw big bucks from Hollywood. Booker garnered more than $1 million from California donors for his 2010 mayoral victory.
Among Booker’s planned stops is a party to be hosted by Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter. Carter gave the Democratic Party $60,000 for its convention in Charlotte, N.C., this year, and he has donated to Booker in the past.
Booker has hired Mather Martin, a veteran fundraiser who worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. And two sources told The Star-Ledger that the mayor instructed his political team to take a vacation over Thanksgiving and get ready for a possibly active December.
A Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters, taken last month before super-storm Sandy, showed Christie led Booker only 46 to 42 percent in a head-to-head match-up. But Christie raised his stature with an impressive performance during the storm.
During the disaster, he went out of his way to praise President Barack Obama, who has been a close ally of Booker’s. Christie’s expression of admiration, just before the tight election, might lead Obama to work less enthusiastically on Booker’s behalf.
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