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Geraldo Rivera Senate run more likely due to Lautenberg retirement?

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

(Read caption) Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) of New Jersey walks to the Senate floor from a Democratic caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday. Lautenberg has decided not to seek reelection on order to clear the way for Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Geraldo Rivera could be his Republican challenger.

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Is it more likely today that Geraldo Rivera will run for US Senate in New Jersey? We ask that because Thursday Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) of New Jersey announced his retirement, and that means Geraldo would be competing for an open seat in 2014. In most circumstances open seat elections are more competitive than races which pit incumbents versus challengers. So it’s possible that the Garden State’s mustachioed muckraker has a gleam in his eye and more bounce in his handlebars this morning.

Or maybe not. We’ll get to that scenario in a minute.

First, were you even aware that Geraldo is thinking about tossing his bluster into the political arena? It’s true – several weeks ago on his mid-day radio show he announced that he’d been in touch with New Jersey Republicans and was contemplating a run for Senator Lautenberg’s seat.

“Fasten your seat belts,” he said.

Since then, he’s only sounded more serious about a run. He outlined some of his political views in a Fox News opinion article and it’s a list that pretty much makes him sound like a thinner Chris Christie. That means he’s a moderate Republican with a law-and-order edge.

We think that attaching himself to New Jersey Governor Christie’s hip would be his best electoral approach. Christie is perhaps the most popular governor in the country and Rivera, if he runs, would certainly love a close association.

The other day on Twitter, Rivera even got a twofer, both defending Christie and attacking the most likely Democratic candidate for the seat, Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

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