Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker has opted against challenging Gov. Chris Christie (R) in the state's gubernatorial election next year, according to multiple reports Thursday.
NBC 4 New York reported that Booker plans to run for the U.S. Senate in 2014 and will announce his intentions on Twitter today. Meanwhile, PolitickerNJ.com reported only that Booker will not run for governor. The road to the Senate looks smoother than one to the governor's mansion for Booker. Christie's approval ratings saw a dramatic rise following Superstorm Sandy. According to NBC 4, Booker will pursue the seat currently held by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who is 88 years old and not expected to run for re-election when his term ends in two years.
PolitickerNJ, citing anonymous sources, reported that people close to Booker were "hedging and referring to his potential to go suddenly out of the box" as late as Wednesday night. But most in Booker's inner circle were "shifting gears away from the mayor to consider other possibilities" aside from the 2013 gubernatorial run. One person close to Booker floated the idea of a third term as mayor of Newark, "which seemed to have legs" even though he has ruled out such an option in the past.
This post has been updated.