Booker dismisses idea he stayed out of gov race because of Christie's popularity
By Matthew Arco | December 21st, 2012 - 1:44pm
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Newark Mayor Cory Booker balked at the notion Friday that he failed to enter in a gubernatorial race against Gov. Chris Christie because the governor’s popularity is at an all time high.

Booker told NJTV’s Michael Aron during a taping for On the Record that he’s “relieved” his decision of whether to run for governor next year is behind him and firmly stated Christie’s popularity had no bearing on his choice not to make a run.

“The governor’s policies are out of step with New Jerseyans,” Booker said on the set of On the Record, speaking specifically of marriage equality, clean air policies and taxes, for example.

“We started seeing when you ask people those questions … [that] more people fall into where the Democratic Party is,” he said, explaining his own internal polling showed a Booker and Christie matchup would be much tighter than other polls have suggested.

Booker also told Aron he spoke with Senate President Steve Sweeney Thursday and encouraged the top Democratic lawmaker in the Legislature to challenge Christie.

He said the “governor takes credit” for things Sweeney promoted before Christie even took office, citing pension reform, and said the Senate lawmaker would make for a formidable opponent to the popular governor.

The mayor echoed similar statements for the only Democratic candidate currently in the race for governor in 2013, Sen. Barabara Buono.

“I sat down with Barbara Buono …. [and] was so impressed with her,” he said, adding, he told his staff following the sit-down that, “Look, if we don’t get into this thing” that Buono would be a good candidate to get behind.

On his decision to run for U.S. Senate, Booker said he spoke with U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg well before Booker’s announcement Thursday to seek Lautenberg’s seat in 2014.

“I called Frank Lautenberg well before yesterday,” Booker told Aron.

The  full 25-minute interview will air on NJTV on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m.

The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

Op-Ed

Paterson can flourish with a second chance

By ASLON GOOW, SR. I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities.  I am proud of those accomplishments.  In 2002, I spoke at an expungement... Read More >

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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

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