New Jersey’s senior U.S. Senator, Frank Lautenberg, will not seek reelection when his term expires in 2014.
The Star Ledger broke the story with a statement from the senator:
“I am not announcing the end of anything. 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,” Lautenberg told The Star-Ledger. “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 be 91 when his term expires. Recent independent poll have indicated that New Jersey voters favor Newark Mayor Cory Booker heading to the Senate.
Congressman Frank Pallone is said to be ready to challenge Booker for the Democratic nomination in 2014. State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver have also indicated interest in the Democratic nomination.
Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik said he will not be a candidate.
TV and radio personality Geraldo Rivera is the only Republican who has publically expressed an interest in competing for the Senate seat. State Senators Tom Kean, JR, and Joe Kyrillos have been mentioned as possible candidates, as has Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, Lt. Governor Kim Guadango, and bio-tech executive/Navy Intelligence Officer John Crowley. New Jersey has not had a Republican in the U.S. Senate since 1974.
In a statement issued to the media, Governor Chris Christie said, “Frank Lautenberg and I have had our differences through the years, but I’ve always respected him for his tenacity, devotion to the people of New Jersey and his love for and commitment to public service. I will always be grateful for his doggedness in fighting with me and the delegation to ensure congressional passage of an aid package after Hurricane Sandy that is delivering necessary assistance to our residents. I wish him the best in his retirement.”