It’s not too surprising, but Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Democratic Senator from NJ, has announced he will not seek re-election in 2014. He’ll be 90 by then, and has had cancer during this most recent term (although he’s been cancer free since 2010), so it’s not entirely surprising. However, Sen. Lautenberg is one of the more liberal voices currently in the senate, and it’s hard to say if any of the contenders for his seat will be able to fill his shoes on that account.
According to the article on NJ.com:
While Booker is the leading Democratic candidate for Lautenberg’s seat, he is far from the only one. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) has privately told party leaders he intends to run if Lautenberg retires. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) has also expressed interest. In addition, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) has set up an exploratory committee.
Booker is Newark Mayor Cory Booker. I think he probably has the greatest name recognition of the potential candidates. He’s too accepting of Charter Schools for my tastes, but I like many of his other views and find myself in agreement with him when he’s been on Bill Maher’s show, for example.
Sweeney I personally don’t trust. He’s too conservative for my taste and too willing to go against the unions and cut deals with Chris Christie.
Sheila Oliver I’m not familiar with, although having a black woman in the Senate would be nice; we need more women and minorities represented.
Likewise, I’m not familiar yet with Frank Pallone, but I’ll be educating myself in the coming months.
Haven’t heard any news of possible Republican hopefuls for the seat in 2014, but any Republican would be a long-shot to getting elected in NJ anyway.
It would be interesting if Barbara Buono decided to run; she’s challenging Christie for Governor of NJ, but in the event she doesn’t win, it’s possible she might get in the senate race.