Newark Mayor Cory Booker says it "premature" to say he will run for U.S. Senate in 2014.


Cory Booker on NBC's Meet the Press (NBC)

Speaking Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press, Booker confirmed he has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission that allows him to raise money for a Senate campaign. But he told host David Gregory the filing was a procedural step that had to be done so he could legally explore the possibility of running.

If Booker does run, he would be seeking the seat now held 88-year-old fellow Democrat Frank Lautenberg, who has never given any indication that he would like to retire.

On Friday Lautenberg denied a report that he was retiring and is said to be unhappy with Booker's comments that Lautenberg cancelled a scheduled meeting between the two. The staff of New Jersey's senior Senator also considers Booker to be “self-absorbed and disrespectful" for considering a run for the Senate instead of the Statehouse.

Booker last month turned down the party leaders who wanted to see him challenge incumbent Chris Christie in the 2013 gubernatorial election.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report