Lautenberg's Death Opens 'Pandora's Box' for Christie
All paths to a new senator are thorny for potential 2016 candidate
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 4, 2013 10:34 AM CDT
In this Nov. 13, 2012 file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at a news conference in Trenton, NJ.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

(Newser) – Following the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the ball is in Chris Christie's court—but the next move is a dicey one for a man seen as poised for a presidential run. A number of options are open to the Republican governor, the New York Times reports. If he opts for a November election to fill the seat, Newark Mayor Cory Booker would be the likely Democratic candidate. That could bring out Democratic voters in droves, and would put Christie's own reelection bid on the same ballot as Booker's run for senate—a situation Christie is desperate to avoid, GOP sources tell the Times.

Many Republicans are instead urging Christie to choose an interim Republican senator and hold an election in 2014. That would mean a rare New Jersey Republican vote in the Senate, but it could also bring attacks on Christie for pushing his own party over a quick election—unwanted criticism for a candidate known for bipartisan appeal. Finally, Christie could hold a primary vote as soon as August, followed by an October special election. That, however, would offer a stronger hand to Booker, and Christie might be criticized for spending $24 million on a pair of pre-November votes in order to help his own political cause. It's a "Pandora’s box of political choices," says a New Jersey political expert.

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Jun 4, 2013 3:42 PM CDT
Well we already know what the slug has done. Have an election in August and spend 24 million of the taxpayers money so he does not have to compete for his job or appoint a Republican to the seat. What an ass and that he has. That blowby should should just change parties. How about the Pee Party!
Jun 4, 2013 2:16 PM CDT
What Christie needs to do is appoint a Democrat to replace the Democrat that died. It would be the only fair thing to do. If he appoints a moderately popular Dem, then he can let the chips fall where they may in 2014. It shouldn't be a problem since the Tea Party already hates him...
Jun 4, 2013 2:01 PM CDT
Time to shit or get off the pot!