Cory Booker Says Final Senate Bid Announcement Will Have to Wait

The Newark mayor will focus on his current job and helping a Democrat beat Gov. Chris Christie.

Posted: 03/06/2013 05:33 PM EST

Will he or won't he run for the U.S. Senate, political observers have been wondering about Newark Mayor Cory Booker. The final decision won't be made, or at least announced, until after New Jersey's gubernatorial race, he announced this week.

In the meantime, he plans to focus his attention on helping New Jersey state Sen. Barbara Buono, a Democratic challenger to popular incumbent Gov. Chris Christie.

"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]," Booker told Buzzfeed this week.

That doesn't mean he's not laying the groundwork. Booker filed paperwork with the Federal Election Committee in January and will attend a fundraiser in Florida later this month for his potential bid.

And in a State of the City address delivered Tuesday night, Booker defended the record he'll likely tout and have to defend in a run for higher office.

"In the past, the mayor’s speeches have been filled with lofty goals and bold initiatives aimed at improving the lives of city residents," the Newark Star-Ledger reported. "But as Booker looks to become the first mayor to leave City Hall for higher office in more than 160 years, his 75-minute address tonight largely looked back as he extolled his record as chief executive of the state’s largest — and often most troubled — city, a record his primary opponents are likely to challenge."

Booker vowed to not count the days until a likely Senate campaign, the publication noted, and instead would "make every day count" in the job he currently holds.

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(Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images)

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