Thursday, December 14, 2017

Booker won't run for N.J. governor, eyes Senate seat

TRENTON, N.J. — Newark Mayor Cory Booker, perhaps New Jersey's highest-profile Democrat, has ruled out a bid for governor next year and is eyeing a run for U.S. Senate in 2014.

The decision, announced Thursday on Twitter, means Booker has chosen a possible race against Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat who is now 88, over one with Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Booker's announcement alters the landscape for both races, and for politics in Newark, the state's largest city, where Booker's term runs through June 2014.

"Let there be no doubt, I will complete my full second term as mayor," Booker said in a statement posted on Facebook.

It's not clear whether Lautenberg will retire or run against Booker, in a Democratic Senate primary at age 90. A Lautenberg spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

"It will be a privilege, an honor, to continue his legacy of service," Booker said of Lautenberg in a 3-minute video that accompanied his announcement. Booker was not available for questions.

Many Democrats viewed Booker as having the best chance at unseating Christie, whose popularity is at an all-time high after his handling of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.

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