Christie: October Election to Fill Lautenberg's Seat

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he wants to hold a special election in October to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Frank Lautenberg’s death on Monday.

Christie says he intends to appoint someone to fill the seat in the meantime, but he didn’t say who.

The special primary would be Aug. 13, with the special election held Oct. 16.

That schedule would ensure the Republican governor’s own re-election bid remains at the top of the ballot in New Jersey this November.

Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced months ago that he intended to run for the seat in 2014.

More from the New York Times:
 

The move was expected to draw criticism from Democrats in the state, arguing that such a move by Mr. Christie, a Republican, would amount to squandering taxpayer money to protect his own political ambitions. Scheduling a special election rather than adding the vote for the Senate seat to the November ballot would cost millions of dollars.

A special Oct. 16 ballot means the choice of a new senator will not overshadow the race for governor, which will now remain at the top of statewide ballots in November. Republicans in the state are counting on Mr. Christie, who has been hoping that a landslide re-election victory will help propel a possible run for president in 2016, to draw his supporters to the polls, helping Republican candidates for the state Legislature and for many local offices.

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