Polls released this week found that Codey was the top Democratic vote-getter in a theoretical match-up against state Sen. Thomas Kean Jr., the presumptive Republican candidate for Corzine's seat. Three Democratic congressmen, Robert Menendez, Frank Pallone and Rob Andrews, were in a statistical tie with Kean, son of the popular former governor, while Codey was ahead by more than 20 points.
During a visit to a food bank in Union County, Codey said that the door to Washington had been "slightly ajar," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
"I want to close it completely today so we can move forward to focus on the many qualified candidates who have a real interest and a desire to go to Washington," he said.
Codey, a longtime member of the state Legislature, became acting governor when Gov. Jim McGreevey resigned last year. Under New Jersey's unique succession law, he remains president of the state Senate and plans to return to being a full-time legislator.
Menendez would be the first Hispanic U.S. senator from the Northeast if he gets the nod, adding to a long string of firsts.
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