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June 04, 2013

Christie Mulls Alternatives in Replacing Lautenberg

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is so eager to avoid appearing on the same ballot as Cory Booker (D) that he is considering two alternatives to a November election for Sen. Frank Lautenberg's (D-NJ) successor, the New York Times reports.

"The option that is being pushed by many in Mr. Christie's own party would be to name a Republican to hold the seat and then delay an election on a replacement until 2014. This would give his national party an unexpected gift: a reliable vote in the Senate -- for a year and a half, at least -- from a state that has not elected a Republican to the upper house in 41 years. But it would also open Mr. Christie up to allegations of sidestepping the electoral process."

"The alternative, lawyers in both parties said, would be for Mr. Christie to set a primary election as early as August, which would mean a special election in October. This would leave Democrats in a stronger position to win the seat. Mr. Booker, in particular, benefits from a high national profile and strong fund-raising, though he would be quite likely to face a primary challenge. But it would also open Mr. Christie to accusations that he was wasting some $24 million in taxpayer money by holding those two extra elections ahead of the regular November balloting for self-interested political reasons."


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