NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Longtime media personality Geraldo Rivera is seriously thinking about running for U.S. Senate in New Jersey, he announced on his radio show Thursday.
“Buckle your seat belts!” said Rivera before announcing that he is “truly contemplating” a Senate bid.
The 69-year-old said he has spoken to some people in the New Jersey GOP about a run, but he didn’t say what they told him.
At 89, Lautenberg is the oldest sitting U.S. senator. The Democrat hasn’t said if he will seek re-election.
Booker, also a Democrat, has announced he is exploring a run but hasn’t made clear if he would challenge Lautenberg in a primary, should he seek another term.
No Republican has formally announced an interest in running.
Reaction was mixed among voters in New Jersey.
“I can’t take him seriously,” Jada, a Jersey City resident, said. “He just seems sketchy. I would rather vote for Howard Stern. He’s more credible.”
“I’m not voting for him, I just don’t think he’ll be good, I don’t have a good feeling about it ; the mustache doesn’t help,” one woman said.
“I associate him with those trashy talk shows,” another woman said.
“I think he’s a viable candidate, I think he should put it out there,” one man said. “He’s been in the public eye, he’s been an advocate for the people. I don’t know all of his credentials, but Ronald Reagan was an actor and he was president.”
“He’s probably capable but the question is are people going to take him seriously?” another man said.
“It’s definitely interesting, the personality is great — New Jersey is used to personality,” one woman said.
The New Jersey Republican party did not return an email asking for comment.
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