(AP/ABC7) - New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg says he will not seek re-election.
The 89-year-old lawmaker is the last remaining veteran of World War II in the Senate and has been elected easily five times but was facing a likely challenge from charismatic Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Lautenberg is a staunch advocate of gun control and public infrastructure and is a champion of the Amtrak railroad.
Lautenberg first won election to the Senate in 1982.
"I am not announcing the end of anything. I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey," Lautenberg told the Newark Star-Ledger. "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 asever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate."