LGBT Groups Urge Newark Mayor Corey Booker to Run Against N.J. Gov. Christie

Gov. Chris Christe

LGBT organizations are urging Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker (D) to run against the state’s Republican governor Chris Christie in 2013, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

Booker, an outspoken advocate for same-sex marriage and gay rights in general, has yet to announce whether or not he will run for governor. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped gay rights groups from pledging their support for the politician, should he challenge the conservative Christie. In fact, gay rights activists hope their support will encourage Booker to throw his hat into the ring.

Steven Goldstein, the head of Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s largest gay rights group, said that he will go "door to door from New Jersey to Hollywood to raise millions of dollars" for Booker.

"Like few others, Cory Booker manages to capture the imagination of the LGBT community from all over the country, and from all walks of life," Fred Sainz, the vice president with the Human Rights Campaign, told the newspaper. "I would suspect a wide diversity of Americans would support his campaign and help get him the resources he needs to win."

Booker and Christie seem to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to LGBT rights. Booker has been a longtime supporter of gay rights since he came into office in 2006 and championed a bill that would legalize gay marriage in New Jersey this year while Christie vetoed the measure.

The Ledger notes other possible Democratic challengers, including state Sen. Richard Codey, Barbra Buno and Assemblymen Lou Greenwald (D) and John Wisniewski.

"I’m telling you right now, it’s not a matter of if we’re going to win marriage equality in New Jersey," Booker said at the Democratic National Convention, which was held in Charlotte, N.C., this summer. "It’s a matter of when we’re going to win it. And I know in my heart of hearts, if God is willing, I will be there on that day that bill is signed. I might even have a very good seat when it gets done."

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