As speculation gathers speed that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has his sights on the Oval Office for 2016, he might first have to face challenges from his own backyard just to keep his seat.
During an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the 43-year-old rising star of the Democratic Party, said he may challenge Christie in New Jersey’s 2014 gubernatorial race.
“Yeah, I am absolutely considering running for governor as well as giving other options some consideration,” Booker told host Bob Schieffer.
Booker’s indication that he will throw his hat into the ring comes just days after the release of a Monmouth University poll that shows Christie with an all-time high approval rating. Christie’s handling of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath boosted his ratings with 67% approval to 21% disapproval.
Booker said he will announce his final answer within the next 10 days. “There’s a lot of very good candidates for governor on the Democratic side,” Booker said. “I have got to give my party and be part of my party’s push forward, whether it’s with me as candidate or with supporting other candidates for that office.”
This past week, Booker kicked-off a seven day “Food Stamp Challenge” to draw attention to the potential cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on the line in the fiscal cliff negotiations. He was on Day 5 of the experiment as of Sunday, and the lack of coffee he said was hurting him. “I’m thoroughly uncaffeinated right now and it’s a terrible state of human existence,” he said.
Booker also went on to say goals for his professional future were not limited to the gubernatorial ring, and that he was also mulling the option of a run for New Jersey’s U.S. Senate.
“I’m really thinking about both offices right now,” Booker said. “”Life ultimately is not about about position, it’s about a purpose.”