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Gov. Christie appoints Jeff Chiesa to U.S. Senate

1:18 PM, Jun 6, 2013   |    comments
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has appointed state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa to be the interim replacement for the late Frank Lautenberg to the U.S. Senate.

Chiesa will not be a candidate for the Oct. 16 special election for the remainder of Lautenberg's term.

We'll have more soon.

Our original story begins here:
Democratic Rep. Rush Holt formally launched his campaign for New Jersey's special election for Senate, hours before the chamber paid tribute to the late Frank Lautenberg.

Holt, an eight-term congressman who represents central New Jersey, made his announcement via e-mail and Twitter on Thursday morning.

The body of Lautenberg, who died Monday, will lie in repose Thursday afternoon inside the U.S. Senate chamber, and the World War II veteran will be buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.

"I believe I am the best candidate to continue the passionate advocacy for progressive values that Sen. Lautenberg exemplified," said Holt, the only physicist serving in Congress.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has set a special election Oct. 16 for the remainder of Lautenberg's term, which ends in January 2015. Primaries will be held Aug. 13. Christie has said he intends to appoint a successor to Lautenberg by next week.

The governor will hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. ET in Trenton. It is unclear what Christie's subject will be.

Because of the schedule, New Jersey will move quickly into a political frenzy even as the state and nation continue to mourn Lautenberg. Senate candidates must submit petitions with 1,000 signatures to the state's election division by Monday, June 10.

The Democratic field is likely to get crowded quickly. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who had declared his intention to run for the Senate in 2014, is gathering signatures for his nominating petition, according to The Star-Ledger.

Booker has raised nearly $2 million for the 2014 Senate race and would be able to use those funds for the special election.

Rep. Frank Pallone, a 14-term Democratic congressman, is also likely to run for the vacant Senate seat. Pallone can transfer funds from his House account - about $3.4 million - into another account for a Senate race.

Steve Lonegan, a former mayor of Bogota, has declared his candidacy for the GOP Senate nomination.

USA TODAY

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