Newark Mayor Cory Booker won't challenge GOP Gov. Chris Christie next year and instead is exploring a 2014 Senate bid, he announced in a video and op-ed Thursday.
Booker sent out a tweet thanking followers for their support and providing a link to his website, where he had posted a video and a link to a op-ed he wrote in the Newark Star-Ledger. The op-ed's content is by and large the same as the video.
Both tout Booker's accomplishments in Newark and proclaim his love for the city. "But there is still much work to do," he says in the video. "And so, let there be no doubt, I will complete my full second term as mayor of Newak, New Jersey," says Booker. "As for my political future, I will explore the possibility of running for The United States Senate in 2014."
The decision means Booker will seek the Senate seat currently held by Frank Lautenberg, 88, who has not announced whether he's running again. It also means Democrats won't get their top choice to take on Christie, who has seen a surge in his popularity due to his handling of Hurricane Sandy.
Booker alluded to Lautenberg in the video. "As I explore a run for the United States Senate, I look forward to consulting with Senator Frank Lautenberg," he says. "It would be a privilege and honor to continue his legacy of service."
Check out more on the post-Booker Democratic bench for the governor's race here: State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, State Sen. Dick Codey, state Sen. Barbara Buono, and Rep. Bill Pascrell.