03/05/2013 11:48 pm ET Updated Mar 06, 2013

Cory Booker: Senate Run Announcement Will Come After Governor's Race

Newark Mayor Cory Booker won't make an announcement about his potential run for the U.S. Senate until after the New Jersey gubernatorial race.

Booker, who filed paperwork earlier this year with the Federal Election Commission to explore a bid in 2014, told BuzzFeed on Tuesday that any announcement will have to wait until after this year's state elections.

"Not until after the governor's race," Booker said. "I'm really going to wait."

After speculation swirled over whether Booker would decide to challenge New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) in 2013 or run for Senate in 2014, Booker wrote an op-ed in December stating his intention to explore a Senate bid. Although Booker has remained coy about his electoral plans, the FEC paperwork he filed in January allows him to fundraise for a potential campaign ahead of any formal announcement.

Booker told BuzzFeed that he intends to focus his energy on helping Democratic candidates in 2013, including Christie challenger Barbara Buono.

"I'm gonna go out and try to raise a lot of money [for Buono], but it would be wrong to hold a press conference [until her race is over]," he said.

Last month, Booker made a similar statement during an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"2014 is a long way off," he said. "Let’s focus on supporting the Democratic nominee for governor, and frankly, a lot of legislative races are up for grabs right now in New Jersey."

In February, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) announced that he would not run for reelection in 2014, further opening the race up for Booker. However, the Newark mayor will not be without competition. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) has long eyed Lautenberg's seat, while Fox News' Geraldo Rivera has expressed interest in running as a Republican.



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