Updated September 10, 11:20 am
Prior to last month the buzz about Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s future was that he would run for U.S. Senate in 2014, challenging Senator Frank Launtenberg if necessary. Booker opened a federal PAC last year and Lautenberg has been sniping at him ever since.
But in the weeks leading up to the convention Booker met with county chairs to plant the seeds of a gubernatorial run against Governor Chris Christie last year. In Charlotte he went into full campaign mode without making an announcement. In the process he made himself the front runner for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2013. A Booker candidacy for governor will clear the Democratic field. Without Booker in the race there will be a contentious primary. Senators Dick Codey, Barbara Buono and Steve Sweeney could be contenders. Assemblymen John Wisniewski and Lou Greenwald are acting like candidates. Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage says he will run if Booker doesn’t.
None of the other potential candidates will be able to gain any traction until Booker makes his intentions clear.
As a nod to Booker’s front runner status, Quinnipiac polled a Christie/Booker match up. Christie won the poll by 7%, but Booker’s name was recognised by 60% of those polled. That is an extraordinary high number for a New Jersey politician who has never run a statewide race. Booker has better name recognition than Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. He is as well known and better liked than U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.
Booker told the New Jersey delegation in Charlotte that Christie can be beat and that he is only governor because urban Democrats didn’t come out to vote for Jon Corzine in 2009. The implication is that he can get urban voters out, regardless of the desires of Democratic bosses George Norcross in the south and Joe DiVincenzo in the north who didn’t rev their machines for Corzine in 09.Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race | Tags: Andrew Cuomo, Barbara Buono, Chris Bollwage, Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Dick Codey, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Wisniewski, Lou Greenwald, Martin O'Malley, Steve Sweeny | 2 Comments »