Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker (D) on Monday said his 2014 U.S. Senate bid remains in "the preliminary stages," adding that the focus of all New Jersey voters should be supporting their two senators, including five-term Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).
Lautenberg has yet to announce if he will seek another term, which would set up a marquee Democratic primary next year against the popular mayor, but an aide to the longtime senator blasted Booker late last week. During a Monday appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Booker made it clear that he isn't in campaign mode quite yet.
"As you know, I made a decision not to run for governor, to focus on the end of my term. That's really what my focus is. This is going to be my most productive year as mayor. We've got about a billion dollars worth of new investment coming in to Newark. We're going to have a city balanced budget for the first time in a decade or two. We're going to also be hiring more police officers. So, that's my focus. I have to file that account, as you probably know, because I can't even do research on a federal office without having a federal account. And so for the rest of it, I think a lot's going to happen during this state election year. I'm going to let that happen. But my intention is to run for United States Senate. It's still in the preliminary stages. I'm going to let things happen that should happen. The focus right now, frankly ,for all of New Jersey should be our two senators, supporting them in fiscal cliff negotiations, Sandy relief, debt ceiling. We should be supporting Frank Lautenberg, supporting Bob Menendez. And me, I have a big job to do here in Newark."