Newark Mayor Cory Booker says he is "clearly interested" in running for U.S. Senate but will focus on the state's gubernatorial race at the moment.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker on Face The Nation (CBS)

During an appearance on CBS' Face The Nation, Booker told host Bob Schieffer that he will spend the next couple of months "exploring" a campaign for the seat that Frank Lautenberg on Friday said he will not seek to keep. "Next year's election for U.S. Senate will take care of itself,' said Booker.

 

Booker said his present focus is on getting a Democrat elected as Governor in November.  "We in New Jersey take one  election at a time. Let's focus on supporting the Democratic nominee for governor and frankly a lot of legislative races are up for grabs now," said Booker, who made it clear he is not considering a run for the Statehouse.

Democrats Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver , Senate President Steve Sweeney and 6th district Congressman Frank Pallone have all expressed interest privately in running for Lautenberg's seat in 2014.

Meanwhile, the website BuzzFeed reports that Booker is scheduled to host a fundraiser for a Senate run in West Palm Beach, Florida at the home of shopping center managers Christina and Robert Baker on March 23.  The event  appeared on Booker's website but BuzzFeed said the listing was removed after they first reported it.

Christina Baker confirmed the fundraiser for BuzzFeed. "We've met him several times," said Christina. "We think very highly of him and are very happy that he's been as successful a mayor of Newark as he has been. He would be a good leader in the Senate, and our government needs good leaders."