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Chris Christie calls for Special Election in October to fill Lautenberg seat

Chris Christie calls for Special Election in October to fill Lautenberg seat

He just held a news conference.

He could have appointed someone to serve until 2014. Instead, the election will be October 16, 2014. The primaries will be August 13.

He would not comment on who he would appoint to serve until then.

I don’t understand all the nuances of NJ politics, so hopefully readers can add local color in the comments.

Update: Not sure if this is right, but supposedly Christie put himself first, via National Journal:

Republicans are fuming over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to hold an early special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, with several Washington-based operatives suggesting he’s putting his own interests ahead of the GOP’s. The decision to hold a separate special election in October 2013—just two weeks before his own election—would give any interested Republican candidates little time to announce, organize a campaign, and raise the necessary money to take on a top-tier Democrat, likely Newark Mayor Cory Booker….

Christie acknowledged he was legally able to schedule a special election in November 2014, but he wanted New Jersey voters to elect their senator as soon as possible. Christie was less clear about whether he was legally allowed to schedule an election to coincide with his own….

The governor’s decision, along with growing GOP expectations that his appointee will be a placeholder, means that the GOP’s chance at a pickup now looks like a long shot. But Christie protected his own interests by scheduling a separate 2013 election, ensuring that Booker wouldn’t usher a surge of Democratic voters that could hurt Christie’s November prospects.

That did little to mollify Republicans with a stake in retaking the Senate next year. While none wanted to be quoted publicly, all dripped with disdain for Christie’s decision, calling it self-serving.


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Christie just voted ‘Present.’

    It’s worse than that. After watching Christie publicly carry on a bromance with Obama recently, he made certain that senate seat remains a “D.” He could have appointed an “R” but chose to snub the party instead. It’s [email protected] like this that makes one wonder what does the prez have on Christie?

TrooperJohnSmith | June 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Mark my word, that the next time the DemocRats get in trouble in Nuh Joizey, they’ll dig up old Frankie and run him again. And he’ll win.

Yeah, and I am still not voting for Christie or Jeb Bush in 2016. Just say “No” to Mugwumps.

aguyfromjersey | June 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

So, Jersey is close to Broke, but we can afford a special election in October, with a state wide election in November. This makes no sense.
Appoint someone to fill the seat till 2014, when the seat would have been open anyway
And Frank was just hanging on because he was afraid Christie would appoint someone to fill the seat for the next year and a half. Joke’s on him.

We are quickly running out of heroes as each favorite flavor finds solace in the arms of the establishment.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Anchovy. | June 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Ain’t it somethin’? Marco Rubio’s all chewed up and bloody, clawing his way out from the jaws of an alligator named immigration reform, and now former first round draft choice Chris Christie apparently wants to play in some other league entirely.


      Subotai Bahadur in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      With all due respect, I don’t think that any ticket with Christie on it can be called “light” under any circumstances. Between Rubio and Christie [and McCain and Graham and of course Boehner] I am really glad I left the Republican party January 2.

      Subotai Bahadur

      PhillyGuy in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      I’m sorry Henry but you’re wrong. That’s the Democrat ticket.

    JohnC in reply to Anchovy. | June 5, 2013 at 8:36 am

    We live in a time ruled by lesser men.

Christie is posturing for the future and hopefully this future will not include him being successful for any national office.

He has shown his colors and they are not in the nation’s best interest. We sorely need a pit bull, not a lap dog to fix things…

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | June 4, 2013 at 5:22 pm

This morning, the Administration’s Propaganda Carriers (NBC) were ALREADY pushing Christie as the 2016 GOP Presidential candidate.

That means Christie must not even be allowed in the primaries – where the Dems will commit every crime under the sun to crime him in as the candidate – even if he came in last in all the races!

I’m going on record as saying that if it’s Christie vs Hillary in 2016, I won’t be voting for president that day. Period. I’m totally fed up with the whole charade. I am convinced that the media and Hollywood control the outcome and the country is on a hellbound train. If the GOP cannot do any better than that, so long. Molon Labe.


“Never fall in love with a politician, they will break your heart every time.”
—Lee Rodgers

mitchflorida | June 4, 2013 at 9:36 pm

New Jersey law is ambiguous and the Democrats promised to bring a lawsuit if the election were put off until 2014. There is a 99 percent chance a liberal New Jersey Judge would have ordered the election in November of 2013. Christie thinks that Cory Booker was unbeatable in Novemer 2013 and might have hurt his victory margin and brought out a lot of black who would vote straight Democrat.

All in all, Christie did the right thing, assuming he appoints a viable Republican to the Senate for the next four months.

Uncle Samuel | June 5, 2013 at 5:55 am

Please let there be a Constitutional or Conservative Party in 2016 – with Cruz and his choice on the ticket.

Americans with one eye and half sense who have been paying attention can see exactly what the Republican party has become.

The Rockefeller/Bush/Romney/Boehner/Graham/Rubio et al Republicans and the last two elections have cured us of any slight hope that they are in any way interested in the future of our nation and the well-being of the American people.

Not surprisingly, there are conflicting laws on choosing a replacement. If Christie chose a successor until November of 2014, the Democrats would definitely have filed a lawsuit and they probably would have won (if 2002 was any indication, they absolutely would win (see Forrester v. Torricelli)). He could have had the election in November but, believe it or not, Christie IS thinking about his party. The GOP has a chance at taking the three seats necessary to take over the State Senate, and can pick up a few assembly seats. Outside money, especially to elect Cory Booker, would increase turout in the dem strongholds and those swing districts where the GOP has a chance. Putting the senate election in October confines outside money to the special election and keeps Democrat money out of the November election in which state offices are decided. I think it’s a smart move to help the State GOP. The US Senate would still have been 54-46 Dem if Christie had appointed an “R.