Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) will not seek reelection in 2014, the Star-Ledger reports.
“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 said.
Lautenberg will make the formal announcement at an event in Paterson, N.J. on Friday, a source familiar with the plans told HuffPost.
Lautenberg released the following statement on the news:
“I will be traveling to my hometown of Paterson tomorrow to announce that I will not seek re-election in 2014. 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."
Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker recently announced he was exploring a 2014 Senate run for Lautenberg's seat. Though Lautenberg had been considering retirement, his efforts in Congress ramped up after news of Booker spread.
The New York Times reports:
If Mr. Booker was hoping to nudge Mr. Lautenberg toward the door, his announcement has had precisely the opposite effect. Mr. Lautenberg, a fighter dubbed “swamp dog” by a past opponent, has embraced his job with new vigor. He has taken a leading role on the issues of the day: fighting for recovery money for his hurricane-hit state and pushing for gun control after the shootings in Newtown, Conn.
The 89-year-old Lautenberg, who has served in the Senate for five terms, is currently its oldest member.
UPDATE -- 4:15 p.m.: Booker released the following statement on Lautenberg's announcement:
Senator Frank Lautenberg has been a champion for the people of New Jersey for decades and his legacy of service will improve the lives of all American's for years to come.
Here in Newark, his tireless advocacy and numerous contributions have helped our city endure difficult days and are now fueling our turn toward growth, promise and endless possibility. Newarkers know, from our airport and the roads we drive on to our schools and services for our seniors, Frank Lautenberg has helped empower people and strengthen our city.
On a personal note, Senator Lautenberg has been a strong model of leadership and service to me since before I even considered entering elected office. More recently, as mayor he has been an invaluable partner in so many of Newark's recent accomplishments and successes. I look forward to continuing to work with him for the remainder of his term in senate and for many years to come.
UPDATE -- 5:11 p.m.: President Barack Obama issued the following statement:
Frank is a steadfast champion of the people of New Jersey. Throughout his time in the Senate, Frank has fought tirelessly for workers, veterans, members of our military and their families, and immigrants, and he continues to make extraordinary contributions to our nation’s safety, and the health and welfare of our citizens. His service in World War II is a testament to his character and deep commitment to public service. I look forward to working with Frank on critical issues before us these next two years, and Michelle and I wish him and Bonnie all the best.
Ryan J. Reilly contributed reporting.