WASHINGTON (JTA) – Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said he will not run again for the U.S. Senate.
Lautenberg, 89, previously had said he would consider running again in 2014. On Thursday, he told various media that instead he would dedicate the final two years of his term to passing new gun controls and environmental protections, and to creating jobs in New Jersey.
Lautenberg first served in the Senate from 1982 to 2000. Two signature laws of his are called the Lautenberg Amendment. One, passed in 1990, facilitates refugee status for those fleeing religious persecution. Designed originally for Soviet Jews, it since has been used to assist refugees from Vietnam, Burma, Iran and other nations. The other, passed in 1996, bans the sale of guns to people convicted of domestic violence.
Lautenberg first retired in 2000 but was asked by Democrats to run again in 2002 after incumbent Sen. Robert Toricelli was forced to drop out because of scandal.