“I mention this only briefly, fasten your seatbelt,” Rivera said on his radio show. “I mentioned this only briefly to my wife ... but I am and I’ve been in touch with some people in the Republican Party in New Jersey. I am truly contemplating running for Senate against Frank Lautenberg or Cory Booker.”
New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), 89, is up for reelection in 2014 but hasn’t announced whether he plans to seek another term.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) has announced he is weighing a bid for the seat, a decision that has frustrated New Jersey Democrats, many of whom feel he was their best shot at unseating Gov. Chris Christie (R).
“I’m not going to drill this out, because obviously I’ve got commitments to Fox and to here at the radio program and I’m really having a great time,” Rivera added. “But I figure at my age, if I’m going to do it I’ve got to do it. And there doesn’t seem to be any Republicans ready to work against or run against Corey Booker, the popular Newark mayor.”
Rivera could face a tough primary challenge, however, with reports suggesting that Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick of Westfield, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno are all weighing bids for the GOP ticket.
No official Republican contenders have emerged so far, and none have much of a national profile. New Jersey hasn’t elected a Republican senator since the 1970s.