It might be an off-year, sure. There are no races for U.S. House. None for the U.S. Senate, either. But the 2013 elections might captivate political junkies anyway, thanks to the Garden State.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, an oft-mentioned candidate for president in the 2016 races, has filed the necessary paperwork to seek re-election to a second term next year. And he could face an opponent who is just as outspoken and visible on the national stage as he is.
- Chris Christie's Role at the 2012 Republican National Convention
- Field of 2016 Presidential Candidates Starts to Take Shape
- When Are Vice Presidential Candidates Chosen?
Political observers are abuzz over the prospect that Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat who turned down a key role in President Barack Obama's administration, will taken on Christie. Booker's rise in stature landed him a prime speaking role at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and earned him the spotlight as one of Obama's most visible surrogates on the campaign trail.
Booker, like Christie, is known for being plainspoken and blunt - characteristics that are somewhat rare in politicians, and occasionally land them in hot water. During the 2012 election, Booker caught some flak when he described his party's attacks on Republican Mitt Romney's work at Bain Capital "nauseating."
Booker has not yet announced whether he will run for governor or sit out the 2013 election and run for U.S. Senate the following year.
But Christie is clear: He intends to be governor for another term, if only to continue his work helping the state recover from the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy earlier in 2012.
"I don't want to leave now. We have a job to do," Christie said at a news conference on Monday. "That job won't be finished by next year and so that's the other reason I wanted to reassure folks that for those of you who have been so kind and said so many wonderful things about the leadership that we provided. So many people have said to me over the last couple of weeks 'don't leave.' So guess what? I'm not leaving."
Whether Christie stays or goes, of course, is not up to him. It's up to voters. Booker, never shy about expressing his own opinion, is certain to have a say in the matter, too.
[Getty Images News photo of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie]