Lautenberg announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 4:16 p.m. | Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., will not seek re-election, setting up a lively Democratic primary for his seat in 2014.
CQ Roll Call confirmed Lautenberg’s decision, which he explained to The Newark Star-Ledger in a report published Thursday.
“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 paper. “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.”
Garden State operatives expect more than one Democrat will seek the seat. Last year, Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced he had formed an exploratory committee to look at a bid. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. is also eyeing the seat, along with possibly other state politicians.