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Saturday, October 22, 2016


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.

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.

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  • Dominick Vila

    We can’t have it both ways. We either accept Chiesa’s selection as an interim senator for New Jersey until the next election, a risky move to be sure, or bite the bullet and fund an election later this year that would let the voters elect whomever they believe is best qualified to pursue their goals.

  • John Pigg

    I find it generally amusing when people complain about the cost of this special election. In most hard red and hard blue states the Democrats and Republicans prefer appointees to establish name recognition and give their party a step up in the next election.

    Christie’s decision to hold a special election is not a political move, it is a democratic move. As much as this infuriates upper echelon GOP leaders this is how senators should be chosen, by the people.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Though I believe Rush Holt to be the better and more experienced candidate to replace Frank Lautenberg, I also believe that Corey Booker is going to get the most votes. It comes down to who has the best record of sponsoring bills and getting the funding NJ needs most…that would be Holt. In terms of popularity, Booker will win.

  • arar

    Please just no more Republicans, just had enough of the GOP do nothing for this country

  • howa4x

    Lonegan is the republican sacrificial lamb. He has run for governor a few times and was resounding rejected by NJ voters. Although NJ is a balkanized state with over 560 municipalities, Lonegan has never stood of consolidation and in fact fought against it. So much for lower taxes. Maybe because the town he was mayor of is about a 1 mile square. Booker will win the democratic contest although both Pallone and Holt are excellent