Booker ’13

If Cory Booker wins election as Mayor of Newark tonight, many political insiders believe he instantly becomes the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2013. But others say that the 37-year-old former City Councilman must first prove his ability to govern Newark before he can be viewed as a candidate for higher office. Expectations for Booker have already been set high. New Jersey has no shortage of ambitious politicians eyeing a small number of statewide opportunities. Jon Corzine is expected to seek re-election to a second term in 2009 (despite upside-down poll numbers, Democrats really not anticipate any primary battles), and the next open race for Governor will be in ’13 — either to succeed a two-term Governor or against a Republican incumbent. If Bob Menendez wins this fall, his Senate seat could be tied up for years, and if Frank Lautenberg runs in 2008, the next chance for a Democrat to go to the U.S. Senate might not be until 2014. One potential candidate for Governor in 2013 is the man or woman Corzine picks to run with him for Lieutenant Governor in ’09. Congressman Rob Andrews, State Senators Paul Sarlo and John Adler, and Assemblyman Louis Greenwald are all viewed as possible statewide candidates — and Booker, an African American Democrat from Essex County, might have a stronger voter base and better fundraising abilities than anyone else in the field.

Booker ’13