3:51p.m. EST February 14, 2013
Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey has decided not to run for re-election next year, sparking what could be a contentious battle among Democrats for the open seat.
"This is not the end of anything," Lautenberg said in a statement. "While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I'm going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate."
Lautenberg, 89, is the Senate's oldest member and is known best for legislation that established a minimum blood-alcohol standard of .08 for drunken driving. He will make a formal announcement Friday in his hometown of Paterson.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker has already declared his intention to run for the Senate next year ... Rep. Frank Pallone, a longtime congressman, has wanted to run for the Senate if Lautenberg retired ...