Newark Mayor Cory Booker will not be challenging New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie with a run for governor.
Instead, Booker announced Thursday he is exploring the possibility of running for Senate in 2014.
“[L]et there be no doubt, I will complete my full second term as mayor,” Booker said in a YouTube video announcing his political intentions. “As for my political future, I will explore the possibility of running for the United States Senate in 2014.”
Booker would be seeking the seat currently held by New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
“As I explore a run for the United States Senate, I look forward to consulting with Sen. Lautenberg. During my lifetime, he has been one of New Jersey’s most important leaders,” Booker said. “It would be a privilege to continue his great legacy of service.”
Booker highlighted some of his accomplishments as mayor including lower crime, education reform, budget stability and economic development — adding that while he explores the possibility he will remain committed to Newark and fight for the Democrats to be elected in the coming cycle.
“So I will continue my hard work as Newark’s mayor,” he said. “And I believe it is in the interests of Newark that I get fully involved in New Jersey’s 2013 elections. Over the coming months my presence in New Jersey’s state election season will be felt from the Highlands in the North to Southern shore communities. No one will fight harder than me for the Democratic ticket this fall, from the top to the bottom. Newark is my city, New Jersey is my state — I intend to be of service to them both now and for the rest of my life.”
There had been some speculation that Booker would take on the popular Republican Christie for the New Jersey governorship. Eyes now turn to Lautenberg to see whether the 88-year-old senator will seek re-election when his term is up in 2014 and other possible Democratic Christie challengers.
Christie announced in November that he would be seeking a second term, Booker had been one of the more popular Democratic choices to challenge him.