Thursday, February 14, 2013

Senator Lautenberg to retire when his term ends in 2015

US Sen. Frank Lautenberg

Sen. Frank Lautenberg will retire at the end of his term in 2015 rather than seek reelection at age 90 next year, The (Bergen) Record reports.

"Lautenberg, who was elected to a record fifth term in 2008, broke the news to his staff this afternoon. Newark Mayor Cory Booker has already formed a committee to explore a run for the seat. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-Long Branch, also is a potential candidate.

“I will be traveling to my hometown of Paterson tomorrow to announce that I will not seek re-election in 2014,” Lautenberg said Thursday.

“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. 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."

The white-haired Democrat, whose energetic strides through the halls of power belied his status as the Senate’s oldest member, is serving his fifth term. His service has not been consecutive. He retired at the end of his third term in 2000 but said he regretted the decision as soon as he made it. But he got a second chance when Democrats tapped Lautenberg to replace his former colleague, the ethically tainted Sen. Robert G. Torricelli, on the 2002 ballot. Lautenberg easily won that race and was reelected in 2008 by the biggest margin of his career.

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