Newark Mayor Cory Booker said on Sunday he will soon announce whether he plans to run against incumbent New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Calling the Republican Christie “vulnerable” because his views are out of sync with the beliefs of many New Jersey voters, Booker, a Democrat, said he would make his decision within the next couple of weeks.
“It’s got to be within the next two weeks, especially in New Jersey, because there are a lot of very good candidates for governor in New Jersey on the Democratic side,” Booker said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”
If Booker does take aim at the governor’s mansion and prevails in the Democratic primary, the New Jersey governor’s race would become a marquee matchup. Christie and Booker both have the charisma, the rising-star status and the ideological bona fides needed to make the contest one with national appeal.
Since his election in 2009, Gov. Christie has established himself as a conservative stalwart unafraid to defy his state’s Democratically controlled legislature. That has included enacting deep budget cuts and vetoing legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey.
Known for his blunt, combative style, Christie delivered a keynote address at the 2012 Republican National Convention that was widely seen as an effort to position himself for a potential presidential run.
Booker has risen to prominence for his enthusiastic tenure at the helm of financially troubled Newark. His exploits beyond the duties of office are approaching the stuff of legend: Earlier this year he rescued a neighbor’s daughter from a burning building, ignoring his security detail’s attempts to dissuade him; currently, he is living on food stamps for a week because of an exchange with a Twitter follower who questioned the importance of food stamps.
Although he acknowledged he is "absolutely" mulling a gubernatorial run, Booker also floated the possibility of pursuing a Senate seat. 88-year-old incumbent Sen Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), first elected to the Senate in 1982, has not yet said whether he will seek another term when his current one expires in 2014.
"I will consider United States Senate as well," Booker said. "I am trying to make the decision based on where I can make the most difference in the city I love and the state I love and the nation I pledged my life to."