Cory Booker to enter Senate race

WASHINGTON -- Newark Mayor Cory Booker will enter the race for U.S. Senate, a campaign aide confirmed Friday.

Booker is hoping to make an announcement Saturday, though those plans have not been finalized as a weekend storm looms.

Booker has eyed the Senate seat for months and was long expected to run. He began fund-raising in January and has been collecting the signatures needed to run in the special election to replace Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died Monday morning and was buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.

Booker, popular and well-known across the state, is expected to be the heavy favorite, but he will have competition for the Democratic nomination.

Rush Holt, an eight-term Congressman from Central New Jersey, is already in the race and a Democratic source has said veteran Congressman Frank Pallone will also seek the party's nomination.

On the Republican side, so far only conservative leader Steve Lonegan has joined the race.

Petitions to run are due Monday by 4 p.m. The primary will be held Aug. 13 and general election in Oct. 16.

Matt Katz and I had a look at the developing race, and Gov. Christie's interim Senate appointment, Jeff Chiesa, in the Inquirer this morning.