Cory Booker’s decision on gubernatorial bid has NJ Democrats ‘frozen’

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Elizabeth, N.J. mayor Chris Bollwage (D) told the Huffington Post that Newark mayor Cory Booker’s decision to wait to announce whether he will run for governor of New Jersey next year has “frozen” the Democratic Party, adding that it could unintentionally help re-elect Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Early this week, Booker said that he would make a decision on a potential gubernatorial bid within two weeks.  If the Newark mayor decides not to run for governor in 2013, he may run for U.S. Senate in 2014.

Bollwage said that the “entire Democratic Party has been put on hold with Cory Booker’s decision, which is due in two weeks.”

State Democratic leaders have been held off from choosing a candidate to back because of Booker’s lack of decision thus far.

“If he is not running for governor I don’t understand why he’s waiting. If he is, he should tell people,” Bollwage said.

Bollwage explained that with a June 2013 primary, N.J. Democrats need to start organizing behind one gubernatorial candidate, or “Governor Christie will win seats in different districts. That’s a big danger to the Democratic Party by not getting together early. We run the risk of risk of losing the legislature”

The Elizabeth N.J. mayor is also considering a run for governor, but says it depends on Booker’s decision.  If Booker does not run, and he receives adequate backing form county leaders, Bollwage said that he will enter the race.

He noted he was happy with Gov. Christie’s post-Sandy efforts, but stated that Republicans have not done enough this term and that “there is no plan from this governor.”

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals