Chris Christie can rest a bit easier now. Popular Newark Mayor Cory Booker--perhaps best known for running into burning buildings, shoveling snow, delivering Sandy supplies, and getting Mark Zuckerberg to shell out over $100 million--has decided not to challenge Christie for the governorship of New Jersey in 2013. Instead, Booker is exploring a candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2014. Booker, a Democrat, was considered the best option to take down the popular Republican governor. Now, thanks to the influence of the White House, he's instead set his sights on the Senate seat currently held by Democrat Frank Lautenberg, who, at 88, is the chamber's oldest sitting senator. A Senior New Jersey Official told Buzzfeed, "The White House weighed and convinced him to run for Senate. They viewed him as an asset they didn't want to tarnish, and they wanted him in the Senate." Booker is expected to announce his decision on Thursday via Twitter.
Booker, in a video posted to his YouTube page Thursday, said he would finish his term as mayor and "explore the possibility of running for the United States Senate in 2014."
NBC 4 New York was first to report the decision Thursday.
Booker says he will consult with Democrat Frank Lautenberg, the 88-year-old senator whose term is up in 2014 and is the oldest serving senator.
"It would be a privilege, an honor, to continue his legacy of service," Booker said.