Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker hasn't officially launched his Senate campaign, but the Democrat posted an impressive first quarter fundraising haul, reeling in $1.9 million over the first three months of 2013. Booker finished March with more than $1.6 million in his federal fundraising account, according to a release sent out Monday by Booker's political team.
Booker's significant total is notable, although not all that surprising. Capitalizing off his national celebrity, the Newark mayor is holding fundraising events across the country to build up his warchest for a likely campaign for the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg. If he officially launches his bid, Booker is expected to be one of the cycle's most prodigious fundraisers.
But he might not be the only well-funded candidate running for Lautenberg's seat. Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone also has said he's considering a bid. Pallone has not released his first quarter numbers yet, but he finished 2012 with more than $3 million in the bank.
Booker and Pallone both have said they'll wait to officially announce their plans until after November's gubernatorial election. Booker and Pallone are both campaigning and raising money for likely Democratic nominee Barbara Buono, who faces long odds in her campaign against Gov. Chris Christie.