Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) announces his plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat during a news conference on June 8. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) weighed in Thursday on the New Jersey Senate race, offering his endorsement of Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D), the early favorite.

In a statement, O’Malley, who is weighing a 2016 presidential bid, praised Booker as “a results-oriented leader who will bring the type of common-sense leadership to the U.S. Senate that Washington needs right now.”

O’Malley also lauded Booker, a rising star among Democrats nationally, for having embraced CitiStat, a program that O’Malley pioneered while mayor of Baltimore. The program, which O’Malley has implemented on the state level in Maryland, seeks to hold government agencies accountable through a bevy of statistical measures of performance.

“Through CitiStat, Mayor Booker has made Newark more efficient, while saving taxpayer dollars and delivering better results to Newark’s citizens,” O’Malley said, adding that he plans “to work hard to get him elected.”

Booker is one of four Democrats and two Republicans running to succeed the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) in an Oct. 16 special election. A primary has been set for Aug. 13.

Early polls have showed Booker with a sizable lead over others in the field. Besides Booker, Democrats running include Reps. Rush Holt and Frank Pallone and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. Two lesser-known Republicans have filed, including Steve Lonegan, a former mayor of Bogota and twice-failed gubernatorial candidate.

O’Malley served as major of Baltimore from 1999 until 2007, when he arrived in Annapolis as governor.