Booker decides against gubernatorial bid, leaving opportunity for N.J. Dems

Now that Newark Mayor Cory Booker has decided not to run for governor of New Jersey, analysts say the field is wide open for other potential Democratic candidates.

Montclair State political science professor Brigid Harrison says Booker is a good fundraiser and would have been the strongest Democratic candidate in a race against Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

“Christie being a very popular politician who’s able to draw a lot of support from independents is very well positioned for his re-election bid,” she said. “Whoever the Democratic nominee is is now facing a very uphill battle.”

Rider University political scientist Ben Dworkin says the Democrats still have a good chance to win.

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“New Jersey provides public financing for gubernatorial elections. That means even a minor candidate, as long as that person is credible and can raise some money, will get matched and can have enough resources to get their message out,” he said Thursday.

State Sen. Barbara Buono is the only declared Democratic candidate, but analysts expect more Democrats will enter the race in the next few weeks.

Booker says he may run for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

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