Pallone will run for Senate

WASHINGTON -- Congressman Frank Pallone is planning to run for New Jersey's open U.S. Senate seat, a Democratic source confirmed today.

Pallone is unlikely to make a formal announcement immediately as he awaits the Wednesday funeral for Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Pallone, a Democrat from Long Branch, at the shore, has long eyed a senate run but has ducked several opportunties to run. With a special election this year, though, instead of next year, he can now run without the fear of losing the House seat he has long held.

Pallone, with $3.7 million in campaign cash as of his last report, could be one of the top threats to Newark Mayor Cory Booker. A longtime team player, he may also be helped by the August primary, which figures to be dominated by only the most active voters.

Booker has not made a formal announcement, though a spokesman said today,  "For several months now, Mayor Booker has been taking the steps necessary to run, but he will make an official announcement at the appropriate time."