Rep. Rob Andrews is making calls to top Democratic officials to gauge potential support for a primary challenge against four-term incumbent U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, according to highly placed Democratic sources. Andrews has received calls from some North Jersey Democratic officials encouraging him to enter the race. An announcement from Andrews regarding his statewide intentions could come as early as today. There is speculation among Democratic insiders that former Democratic State Chairman Tom Byrne, who said today that he would not enter the race, may have been a stalking horse for Andrews, a ten-term Congressman from Camden County.
Democratic strategist Mike Beson, who was among the likely primary voters called by pollsters conducting a survey for Byrne last week, says he was asked if he was familiar with Andrews.
Lautenberg has $4.3 million in his warchest; Andrews has $2.4 million.