Voters in New Jersey to decide nominees in special election primary
Trenton, New Jersey: Tomorrow the primary elections will be held to determine the two candidates who will run to fill the seat of former New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, who died in June at the age of 89. Polls are open from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time.
In June, Gov. Chris Christie chose to appoint Attorney General Jeff Chiesa to fill the vacant seat. Chiesa, who has not expressed interest in becoming a career Senator, will serve in the Senate until the special election is held in October.
Governors have discretion in picking the date for the special election. Gov. Christie could have chosen the special election to coincide with a statewide election on November 5, but instead picked a day when the only race on the ticket will be the race for Lautenberg’s vacant seat.
Cory Booker (D) and Steve Lonegan (R) have dominated polls leading up to the primary, and both have widely been expected to win their parties' nominations. Their opponents, though, are hoping that the unusual Election Day could provide one final wild card and limit the advantages of the better-known favorites. Frank Pallone (D) commented after a debate on August 8, 2013, in Newark, "I just don't believe the polls. I think the turnout is going to be the key, and we really don't know who's going to vote."
The Office of Legislative Services has estimated the cost for renting polling places, transporting voting machines, printing and mailing ballots and hiring additional staff will be close to $24 million. At a news conference, Christie said he's still not sure what the actual costs to each county will be.
“As soon as they send in their bills, we'll audit them, look at their books to make sure no one is trying to play games with us and get something for nothing,” Christie said. The Division of Elections expects to reimburse counties before December 31, 2013.
“The general opinion is that Booker will win the Democratic primary pretty easily, and will probably run in the special general election against a fairly weak Republican opponent and win easily,” Wilson School Professor of Politics and Public Affairs Nolan McCarty predicted.
- United States Senate special election in New Jersey, 2013
- New Jersey elections, 2013
- United States Senate
- U.S. Senate delegation from New Jersey
- Special elections to the 113th United States Congress (2013-2014)
- State Poll Opening and Closing Times (2013)
- New Jersey Division of Elections
- New Jersey 2013 Election Information
- Writ of Election
- Important dates for candidates
- Important dates for voters
- Official list of primary election candidates
- Daily Princetonian, "Aug. 13 Senate primary requires different campaign strategy, sets stage for October special election," accessed August 11, 2013 (dead link)
- New Jersey Elections, "FAQ"
- The Inquirer, "In N.J. Senate race, underdogs remain hopeful," accessed August 11, 2013
- Roll Call, "Special Election Underdog Meets With Club for Growth #NJSEN," accessed August 8, 2013
- State of New Jersey, "Memorandum from Governor Christie," accessed August 7, 2013
- WNYC, "Special Election Will Cost NJ Taxpayers - But How Much?," accessed August 7, 2013
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- CBS News, "Cory Booker fends off Democratic challengers in N.J. debate" accessed August 6, 2013