Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has decided not to seek re-election to his New Jersey seat, POLITICO has confirmed — paving the way for a clearer path for Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker to assume the spot.
Lautenberg broke the news Thursday in a statement to the Star-Ledger of Newark. An aide confirmed it to POLITICO.
“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,” Lautenberg told the Star-Ledger. “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 asever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.”
Lautenberg’s decision was not a surprise — most Democrats had anticipated the 89-year-old World War II veteran would choose to retire. He had struggled with an illness in recent months, and was not seen publicly for a few weeks.