Christie to keep safe distance from U.S. Senate race

    Look for Gov. Chris Christie to endorse the Republican running for U.S. Senate in New Jersey, but do little else.

    Steve Lonegan is running against one of Christie’s political allies — Democrat Cory Booker. And the Newark mayor is favored to win.

    Lonegan is hoping to become the first Republican elected to the U.S. Senate from New Jersey in 40-plus years. Booker would be the state’s first black senator.

    Christie and Booker previously teamed up to abolish lifetime teacher tenure, and say they like each other personally.

    As a high-profile senator, Booker could be a prized ally if Christie seeks the Republican nomination for president.

    There’s also risk involved. A too-distant governor could irritate Lonegan and his conservative cronies at a time when Christie would be wooing the Republican base.

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