Newark Mayor Cory Booker has decided not to run for New Jersey governor against incumbent Chris Christie, whose popularity is soaring. Instead, Booker is setting his sights on a Senate seat.
Booker called on Democratic party leaders this morning to tell them he will not challenge Gov. Christie in next year’s gubernatorial race, but will run for U.S. Senate in 2014 reports NJ.com:
Sources familiar with Booker’s plans told The Star-Ledger that the mayor was preparing to call the likes of George Norcross, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) to inform them of his decision. Sources also said the mayor had made his decision within the past week after months of deliberation. His sources requested anonymity in advance of an official announcement by the mayor but described a process in which the mayor would call ‘about ten’ party heavyweights.
According to the Washington Post, the decision will apply new pressure on Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) to announce whether he’ll run for reelection and spares Gov. Chris Christie (R) a 2013 match-up against top potential challenger.
Booker’s decision reshapes the field of Democrats, who will now take a shot at the popular Republican governor. Since the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the polls are favoring Christie versus Booker.
Christie led Booker 50 percent to 36 percent among New Jersey voters, a Public Policy Polling survey released earlier this month showed. Other Democrats weighing a bid for governor trail Christie by more than 20 points each.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released today, New Jersey voters prefer Christie instead of Booker: voters say 67-25 percent that Gov. Chris Christie deserves re-election in 2013, while giving him a lead by 18 points or more against any Democratic challenger.
Some folks support Booker while others are for Gov. Christie.
Here’s some happily pissed Twitter reactions:
I’m sure my fellow Democrats, like @ericboehlert, are super pissed that Cory Booker admitted he can’t beat Chris Christie.
— RB (D) (@RBPundit) December 20, 2012
Cory Booker’s reported decision to run for Senate rather than governor is obviously a big boost for Chris Christie.
— Jim Antle (@jimantle) December 20, 2012
With Cory Booker running for Senate, I’d like to congratulate Chris Christie on his re-election as Governor.
— Mikey Franklin (@mikeyfranklin) December 20, 2012
Ha! Even democrats would rather have Chris Christie than Cory Booker as Governor of New Jersey nytimes.com/2012/12/14/nyr…
— Cllr Steve Haraldsen (@TorySteve) December 14, 2012
— leagoldman (@leagoldman) December 14, 2012
@corybooker you might have a shot at being governor if you change your name. Chris Christie who? Vote Book Booker!
— Sarah Williams (@SarahFromAlaska) December 13, 2012
If Cory Booker and Chris Christie run for NJ Governor in 2013, I might move to New Jersey just for the opportunity to watch those debates.
— Daniel Shelnutt (@Daniel_Shelnutt) December 13, 2012
In either case, I of course LOVE @corybooker, but the political analyst in me says 2013 is the wrong year to run against Chris Christie.
— Gannon Long (@CTGlo) December 13, 2012