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by
Matt Vespa

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February 4, 2013 - 5:15 pm

As of now, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) is planning to run for re-election in 2014.  However, he’s going to have to put the peddle to the metal when it comes to fundraising.  Abby Livingston at Roll Call reported today that the senator’s 4th quarter haul was a meager $11,000.

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., raised just more than $11,000 in the last three months of 2012 — a paltry total for any incumbent preparing to seek re-election.

Lautenberg, who has not said yet whether he will seek a sixth term, reported $182,000 in the bank, according to his year-end fundraising report filed with the Federal Election Commission last week.

Lautenberg is one of the wealthiest members of Congress and has previously self-funded his own re-election to the tune of seven figures. The New Jersey Democrat also posted meager fundraising at the start of his last race in the 2008 cycle — but he loaned $1 million to seed his campaign in December 2006.

In any case, Latuenberg’s meager haul will continue to fuel questions about whether the 89-year-old plans to run for re-election. Lautenberg faces a tough Democratic primary challenge from Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who announced last month that he is exploring a bid for the seat. Democrats are expected to hold the seat in 2014.

Booker has filed a statement of organization with the FEC, but his first fundraising report is not due for two months. Nontheless, Booker has more than a million followers on Twitter and, as a result, will likely be able to mobilize a national network of small donors.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. is eyeing the New Jersey seat as well, and he sits on a massive war chest of $3.4 million.

Even with his wealth, it may be a sign that Lautenberg, who will be 90 when 2014 comes around, should probably step aside.

Matt Vespa is a web editor at Townhall.com and occasional writer for Hot Air, RedState, and Townhall Magazine.
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