Newark Mayor Cory Booker says he will not challenge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in next year's gubernatorial race and will instead explore a run for U.S. Senate in 2014. New Jersey reporter Brian Thompson reports.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker says he has not yet spoken with New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg about exploring a run for the Democrat's seat, and won't say whether he'd challenge the 88-year-old in a primary in 2014.
Booker, speaking to NBC 4 New York a day after he announced he is interested in running for Lautenberg's seat, said his staff has been in touch with Lautenberg's but that the two have not yet spoken.
"I have not been able to connect with the senator," Booker said.
Asked whether he would challenge Lautenberg in a primary, Booker said: "I'm not prepared to answer a question like that when I've not even sat down with the man and had a conversation yet. And I think it would be disrespectful for me to stand and beat my chest and say I'm geared up for a fight no matter who's in it, when I haven't even looked him in the eye."
Booker, in a video posted to his YouTube page Thursday, said he would finish his term as mayor and would not challenge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in next year's gubernatorial race.
NBC 4 New York was first to report the decision.
After Booker's announcement Thursday, Lautenberg spokesman Caley Gray issued a statement saying the senator was focused on disaster relief and gun control and did not have time to talk about "political distractions."