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Newark Mayor Cory Booker exploring Senate bid in New Jersey

Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory A. Booker reacts during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina S
Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory A. Booker reacts during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina S

By Peter Rudegeair

(Reuters) - Newark Mayor Cory Booker said on Thursday he will consider running for one of New Jersey's seats in the U.S. Senate after his mayoral term ends in two years.

"Let there be no doubt, I will complete my full second term as mayor of Newark, New Jersey. And as for my political future, I will explore the possibility of running for the United States Senate in 2014," Booker, a Democrat, said in a video posted on YouTube Thursday morning.

New Jersey's senior U.S. Senator, Democrat Frank Lautenberg, ends his current term in 2014. A survey by Public Policy Polling released last month found most New Jersey Democrats would like to see Lautenberg, who is the oldest sitting U.S. Senator at age 88, retire at the end of his term rather than run for re-election.

The same survey found Booker leading the pack of potential Democratic candidates for the Senate seat, with six in 10 voters saying they want to see him run.

Booker had previously said that he was considering opposing New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie in 2014's gubernatorial election. A Quinnipiac University poll released last month found that two-thirds of New Jersey voters say Christie deserves to be re-elected, and a match-up between Christie and Booker had the Republican governor winning by 53 percent to 35 percent.

(Additional reporting by Edith Honan; editing by Andrew Hay)

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