Lautenberg sources: Booker’s been ‘deferential’

Sources close to U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg today said the longtime senator took no offense at Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s statement that he will seek Lautenberg’s Senate seat in 2014.

“The mayor has been deferential to the senator and has been sensitive to the senator’s long term future and how that relates to what he’s trying to do,” said a source with ties to Lautenberg.

Booker today announced he will forego a challenge to Gov. Chris Christie and will instead explore running for the Senate in two years.  In his statement issued on his website and in a newspaper Op-Ed, Booker praised Lautenberg and promised to “continue his great legacy of service.”

It has been widely speculated among Washington, D.C., insiders that Lautenberg, who is 88, will not seek another term in the Senate, however, Lautenberg himself has made no formal announcement. One telling sign of the senator’s intentions is his warchest, which has sunk to just $202,000.  Though, as a millionaire from his days as CEO of Automatic Data Processing, Lautenberg has the wealth to self-finance his campaign.

Should he seek another term, Lautenberg, who turns 89 next month, would be 96 at the conclusion of the term.

"The governor still has to come to bat."
—Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, on Atlantic City.