*Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) said he’d explore a run for senate in an op-ed in the Newark Star-Ledger. [Click here to read the op-ed.]

Booker called Democratic party leaders this morning to inform them of his plans to challenge Democrat Frank Lautenberg for his seat in 2014.

The mayor had previously flirted with a gubernatorial run to unseat Chris Christie, calling him “vulnerable.” The Republican’s approval rating hit a high point after his actions in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Booker wrote in his op-ed: “These are the hard won lessons I have learned in Newark: if you can bring people together around common ideals, if you can inspire people to see the universal truth that we are all in this together, that we need each other, that our destinies are interwoven, then great things can happen. I have seen how you can ignite in people the spirit of our ancestors; the spirit of service and sacrifice and of the dignity of hard work for families and for higher principles. When you do that great things do happen, and miracles are made manifest. This is the story of Newark’s enduring spirit and the reason for our progress in recent years.”