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Cory Booker Speaks Out On Lautenberg's Retirement

Having averted a potentially nasty primary fight, the Newark Mayor says in a statement to BuzzFeed that Lautenberg "has been a champion for the people of New Jersey." "On a personal note..."

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In response to Senator Frank Lautenberg's retirement, announced Thursday afternoon, Mayor Cory Booker praised New Jersey's senior senator "on a personal note" for setting a "strong model of leadership."

"Senator Frank Lautenberg has been a champion for the people of New Jersey for decades and his legacy of service will improve the lives of all American's for years to come," said Mayor Booker in a statement to BuzzFeed.

"Here in Newark, his tireless advocacy and numerous contributions have helped our city endure difficult days and are now fueling our turn toward growth, promise and endless possibility," Booker said. "Newarkers know, from our airport and the roads we drive on to our schools and services for our seniors, Frank Lautenberg has helped empower people and strengthen our city.

The Senator and Mayor have been embroiled in a cold war ever since Booker announced in December that he would "consider" a run in 2014 for the New Jersey U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by the 89-year-old Lautenberg.

But just an hour after the Senator went public with his retirement — which he will formally announced Friday in Lautenberg's hometown, Paterson, N.J. — Booker expressed his "personal" gratitude to his elder colleague.

"On a personal note, Senator Lautenberg has been a strong model of leadership and service to me since before I even considered entering elected office," said Booker. "Since I have been mayor, he has been an invaluable partner in so many of Newark's recent accomplishments and successes. I look forward to continuing to work with him for the remainder of his term in the senate and for many years to come."

Ruby Cramer is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Ruby Cramer at ruby.cramer@buzzfeed.com.

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