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Booker Urges Support for Lautenberg, Despite his Interest in Senate Seat

Mayor wants senator's blessing for 2014 campaign

Despite declaring interest in Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s job and registering a “Booker for Senate” campaign with federal election officials last week, Newark Mayor Cory Booker said Monday he was not trying to poach any of the veteran lawmaker’s support.

Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Booker said his focus during the next year will be on his current job, including hiring more police officers and overseeing an estimated $1 billion in investment destined for the state’s largest city.

His campaign for Senate in 2014 is only in the “preliminary stages,” he said.

After months during which Booker deliberated over whether to run for governor against Republican Chris Christie, the 43-year-old mayor announced in December his decision to instead consider a run for the Senate seat now held by fellow Democrat Lautenberg, whose latest term expires in 2014. Booker has not said definitively whether he is seeking the seat but has previously asked for Lautenberg’s blessing.

The 88-year-old Lautenberg has not announced whether he will seek reelection, despite speculation he would step aside due to his age. 

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