U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, 89, a liberal Democrat from New Jersey, won't seek re-election
By The Philadelphia Inquirer
Published: Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 8:42 p.m.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D.-N.J., the country's oldest serving senator, will not seek re-election next year.
Lautenberg, who turned 89 in January, announced that he would travel to his hometown of Paterson, N.J., on Friday to make a formal announcement.
“This is not the end of anything, but rather 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,” he said in a statement released this afternoon. “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 is one of the Senate's most liberal members. During his three decades of service, he's been a leader in public health initiatives. He pushed to raise the drinking age to 21, helped eliminate smoking on airplanes, and sponsored the last major gun control law.
A number of Democrats have expressed interest in running for Lautenberg's seat. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, whose youth, doggedness and presence on Twitter helped nationalize his profile, is considered a top contender. State Democrats had hoped that Booker, 43, would take on popular Republican Gov. Christie in the gubernatorial race this year. But Booker in December announced his preference to run for the Senate in 2014, whether or not Lautenberg stepped aside.
State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone have suggested they, too, might run for Lautenberg's seat.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- FBI: Russian diplomats lied to get U.S. benefits
- 2 inmates of Gitmo sent home amid fears
- Georgia cops suspended for cussing out rowdy bus of schoolkids
- ‘Cannibal sandwiches’ of raw ground beef unsafe, CDC reports
- Budget plans remain in jeopardy
- Illinois overhauls its public pensions, cutting benefits for most workers, retirees
- Deep freeze in Midwest to last through weekend
- VA fears budget cuts will reverse drop in homelessness
- Wash. woman tweets of crash death, finds out it’s husband
- Bratton returns to lead New York City police force
- Billboard showing U.S. soldier, Muslim woman splits observers