Christie Calls Special Election, Takes Flak From Both Sides

Voters will pick Lautenberg replacement in October
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2013 3:33 PM CDT
Christie Calls Special Election, Takes Flak From Both Sides
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers a question during a news conference Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Chris Christie was bound to take criticism no matter what he decided on how to fill the seat of late New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg. And, sure enough, now that he's filled in most of the details, both Republicans and Democrats are angry, reports Politico. Christie today declared that the parties will pick their respective candidates in a primary on Aug. 13, reports the Star-Ledger. The winners will compete in a special election on Oct. 16 to serve out the remainder of Lautenberg's term. The seat will go back up for re-election as scheduled in November 2014.

Democrats are seething because they say Christie is looking out for his own political interests. He's up for re-election on Nov. 5, and Democrats say he feared that a heavy Democratic turnout for the Senate race—because of likely candidate Cory Booker—would jeopardize his own chances. Hence, the special election in October instead of letting voters decide the following month. Meanwhile, national Republicans are ticked because they wanted the governor to appoint someone to the seat who would remain there until the November 2014 election, and thus give the GOP a better shot at permanently taking the seat. Still up in the air: Christie hasn't announced who he will pick to fill the seat until the October election, notes AP. (Read more Chris Christie stories.)

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