Newark Mayor Cory Booker's decision to go ahead with a bid for for the seat held by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) has ruffled feathers in the state party.
Lautenberg, 88, has yet to announce his own 2014 plans, and some see Booker's campaign as premature.
"Stop the U.S. Senate distraction, give Senator Lautenberg the time to concentrate on getting us federal Sandy help and the respect of making a decision about his re-election in his own time,” state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D) wrote on BlueJersey.com Monday morning.
She's the rare politician to speak openly; Rep. Frank Pallone, who may still get in the race, has also chimed in. Others told PolitickerNJ anonymously that Booker had overstepped. Democrats (including Weinberg) also told BuzzFeed they were upset that Booker chose not to run against Gov. Chris Christie (R) in 2013 instead and that Lautenberg himself was offended that the mayor didn't wait for him to make a decision. Aides to Lautenberg have been sniping at Booker anonymously in the press.
A recent poll gave Booker a sizable lead over Lautenberg, so he may not be too worried about what the senator and his allies think. But it's clear that the road to the Democratic nomination will not be that smooth.