U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has announced today that he will not seek re-election in 2014. The Star Ledger was the first to release the statement from the 89 year old Senator -
“I am not announcing the end of anything. I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey. While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I’m going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.”
Lautenberg was elected to the upper chamber in 1982, serving through 2001, and elected again in 2003 having defeated Robert Torricelli.
This now clears a path for the rising star that is Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Booker released a statement shortly after saying -
“Senator Frank Lautenberg has been a champion for the people of New Jersey for decades and his legacy of service will improve the lives of all American’s for years to come.”
There was little love loss between the Mayor and the Senator. After Booker’s early announcement for his 2014 Senate bid, aides of the Lautenberg described Booker as “self absorbed” and “disrespectful”.
Senator Lautenberg will step down after what will be a 30 year career in the U.S. Senate.