TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie today set an October special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat made vacant by Frank Lautenberg's death, a decision that gets voters the quickest possible say on who will represent them in Washington but preserves Christie as the top attraction on November's ballot.
The move means the state will have two statewide elections three weeks apart, a rare occurrence that Democrats immediately criticized as a wasteful move designed to help the governor's political position.
At a news conference, Christie didn't answer the big question of whom he'll appoint to fill the seat in the meantime, but he said he has a list of possibilities in his head and will announce a decision quickly.
The Republican governor said he's not obligated to nominate someone in line philosophically with the liberal Lautenberg. Christie plans to have the temporary representative in place when the Senate begins debating immigration reform next week.