A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg is deflecting questions about the New Jersey Democrat's political future after Newark Mayor Cory Booker said publicly that he's interested in the 88-year-old lawmaker's seat.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (Stephen Chernin, Getty Images)

Spokesman Caley Gray said Thursday that Lautenberg is focused on disaster relief and gun control laws. "This is not the time for political distractions," Gray said, adding that Lautenberg will talk politics next year.

Booker, also a Democrat, announced earlier Thursday that he will not run for governor next year but is interested in running for Lautenberg's seat in 2014.

He hasn't said what he would do if Lautenberg doesn't retire.