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Feb 18, 2013 Comments Off Pat Dollard

Excerpted from Buzzfeed: Newark mayor Cory Booker will hold a fundraiser in support of his run for U.S. Senate next month in Palm Beach, Fla., BuzzFeed has learned. The event sets in motion a campaign that has, until now, been held in abeyance pending a decision from Frank Lautenberg, the 89-year-old U.S. Senator from New Jersey whose seat Booker hopes to win, to retire and not seek a sixth term in office.

Despite Lautenberg’s announcement Thursday afternoon that he would in fact step down in 2014, Booker insisted Sunday morning on CBS News’s Face the Nation that his run for Senate remains a mere possibility. “Clearly it’s a job that I’m interested in,” Booker said. “I’ll spend the coming months working on and exploring that.”

But next month’s fundraiser is a clear sign that Booker is already laying the groundwork for a serious campaign.

The event, a lunch reception on March 23, 2013, will take place at the home of Christina and Robert Baker, located just outside the Palm Beach Country Club, with tickets priced at $5,200 per guest, the maximum individual contribution for a primary and general election. A listing for the fundraiser on Booker’s website, found Saturday night, has since been removed.

Reached by phone Sunday morning, Christina Baker confirmed that she and her husband would be hosting for Booker, whom the couple met around the time of his first mayoral campaign in 2006. Robert Baker, founder and CEO of the shopping mall development company National Realty & Development Corp., has several properties in New Jersey and met Booker through his work there, his wife said.

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