According to a report in the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) will not seek re-election in 2014 – good news for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who has been none too shy in discussing his interest in the seat. Lautenberg is a vocal member of the influential Senate Commerce Committee.
Age is likely a factor in the decision – Lautenberg is 89 and would obviously be well on his way to reaching the age of 100 by the time he finished another term.
According to the Star-Ledger, Lautenberg said, “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. 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 as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.”
Lautenberg has been a strong advocate for local broadcast in his state, and has long decried its woeful position as a stepchild of major out-of-state media markets that hem New Jersey in, including New York on the north side of the state and Philadelphia in the south side. The problem is particularly acute in the TV space, and Lautenberg has in particular been a critic of Fox Television’s WWOR Secaucus NJ, which he claims focuses on the Big Apple and New Jersey’s expense.