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Tom Murse

Cory Booker Isn't Interested in Challenging Chris Christie

By December 20, 2012

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Cory Booker pictureNever mind, political junkies. You can sleep through most of the 2013 elections, after all.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker says he's exploring a run for U.S. Senate in 2014, bypassing what would have been a blockbuster campaign against popular New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is seeking re-election next year.

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Booker, a Democrat, wrote that he's weighing a run for the seat now held by Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Booker made the announcement in a column published in the Star-Ledger newspaper in New Jersey; he did not specify whether he would challenge the incumbent or launch a campaign only if the 88-year-old Lautenberg retires in 2014.

"As I explore a run for the United States Senate, I look forward to consulting with Senator Lautenberg," Booker wrote. "During my lifetime, he has been one of New Jersey's most important leaders. It would be a privilege to continue his great legacy of service."

Booker had said recently that he was also weighing a run against Christie, whose popularity has surged in the wake of his handling of Hurricane Sandy. The mayor called Christie, a Republican, "vulnerable." But Booker has decided against such a campaign.

In his op-ed, Booker said he would complete his second term as mayor of the struggling city. His term continues through 2014.

"After decades of companies leaving Newark - businesses are coming back, with corporations such as Panasonic North America, Manischewitz, and Audible.com moving their headquarters to Newark," Booker wrote. "And the most promising sign is that for first time in 60 years, Newark's population is not contracting, but actually growing.

"But there is still much work to do. And so, let there be no doubt, I will complete my full second term as mayor. As for my political future, I will explore the possibility of running for The United States Senate in 2014."

As for 2013? Booker says he'll be "fully involved" in working for the Democratic ticket.

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