New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg said Thursday that he will not run for a sixth term in 2014.
The news was first reported by the Star-Ledger.
“I am not announcing the end of anything,” he told the Star-Ledger. “I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey. While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I’m going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.”
Lautenberg will reportedly make a more formal announcement about his plans on Friday.
The announcement heads off a primary with fellow Democrat Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who has announced his plans to run for the seat. Lautenberg is 89-years-old, and though many thought he might retire due to his age, he reportedly bristled at Booker planning a run before he had made any announcement about his future.
There is likely to be a heated Democratic primary for the open seat.