What Lautenberg's Death Means for Cory Booker

"It's going to be a little more difficult or a lot more difficult" for the Newark, N.J., mayor if he wants to run for the Senate, says one expert. 

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Cory Booker (John Moore/Getty Images)

The death of New Jersey Sen, Frank Lautenberg, the "liberal lion" who served five terms, has changed the political landscape of the Garden State, especially for Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

While Booker is praising the late politician as a "true champion" who "worked to make America a stronger, healthier and safer place to live," others haven't wasted any time speculating about what the death means for his political future on the national level. From the New Jersey Star-Ledger:

Newark Mayor Cory Booker may have relished the idea of running for Frank Lautenberg's seat in 2014, but now that the liberal lion is dead, the race has changed big time.

It is unclear whether Gov. Chris Christie will appoint a Republican to serve out the remaining 17 months of Lautenberg's term thus giving the appointee a chance to become more well known and formidable or whether he will call a special election this year throwing Jersey politics into a tizzy.

"It's going to be a little more difficult or a lot more difficult (for Booker)," said Ben Dworkin, a political science professor at Rider University. "It is unclear whether the Christie appointment is going to be there through 2013 or whether that person will have 17 months."

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