New Jersey: Reports Say Cory Booker Signaling Senate Run

Lautenberg may face a primary challenge from Booker should the 88-year-old decide to seek another term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Those close to Newark Mayor Cory Booker telegraphed to the Wall Street Journal Tuesday that the Democrat will run for Senate in 2014, rather than challenge Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2013.

Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg currently stands in Booker's way, and the 88-year-old has given zero indication that he plans to retire and clear the way for the popular mayor. Lautenberg was one of the few members to come out forcefully for gun control in the hours after the Dec. 14 shootings in Connecticut.

That means that as it stands, Booker is challenging an active, albeit elderly, incumbent from his own party. Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., is also said to be eyeing a Senate run in 2014.

Many political handicappers believe that Booker has a better shot at the governor's mansion. Christie has seen his favorable ratings increase over his handling of Superstorm Sandy, but Democrats maintain that he is beatable.

Booker has made the television rounds over the past 10 days or so. On Dec. 9, he told CBS' Bob Scheiffer that he would make a decision on a run for governor within two weeks. That window is closing in a few days, so a decision is probably imminent.

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