Following Senator Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) passing on June 3, New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced that a special election would be held on October 16 to fill the vacant seat. Christie’s decision has stirred up controversy, with Democrats calling it a political move, and others opposing the estimated $24 million the special election will cost the state.
Despite opposition from several New Jersey pols, Christie has stood by his decision.
As of Monday afternoon, five candidates had officially joined the race: Republican Steve Lonegan, and Democrats Rush Holt, Frank Pallone, Cory Booker, and Sheila Oliver.
A Quinnipiac Poll released Monday morning found that Newark mayor Cory Booker is already leading the race with 53 percent, followed by Rep. Rush Holt at 10 percent and Rep. Frank Pallone with 9 percent. Lonegan is way behind both. The poll was conducted before another Democratic candidate, State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, announced she would throw her hat in the ring.
Scroll through to learn more about the five candidates.