Sen. Lautenberg says will address Booker announcement ‘next year’

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg declined to address Newark Mayor Corey Booker’s announcement Thursday that he is exploring a run for Lautenberg’s seat in 2014.

In a statement reported by PolitickerNJ, Lautenberg spokesman Caley Gray said: “This is not the time for political distractions, and the senator will address politics next year.”

Gray said the senator is focused on passing the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill, to help deal with the damage wreaked in his home state, and also on dealing with gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Booker, a rising Democratic star, announced Thursday that instead of running against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2013, he would look into running for the Senate in 2014. Lautenberg, the Democratic senator who currently holds that seat will be 90 years old in 2014, and there has been talk that he might opt to retire, which would avoid a primary between the two Democrats.

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