News Column

New Jersey Casts Primary Ballots for U.S. Senate Seat

August 13, 2013

New Jersey voters are choosing nominees in a primary Tuesday for a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Four Democrats and two Republicans are seeking their parties' nominations to compete in an Oct. 16 special election to fill the 15 months remaining in Lautenberg's term.

Lautenberg, a Democrat, served in the U.S. Senate from 1982-2001, and returned to the Senate in 2003, serving until his death at age 89 June 3.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in June appointed state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa to serve as interim senator until after the special election.

Most of the attention in the Democratic primary has focused on Newark Mayor Cory Booker, The New York Times said.

Booker has held a strong lead in both polls and fundraising over two longtime members of the House of Representatives, Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, as well as State Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, the newspaper reported.

The winner of the Democratic contest is expected to face Steven M. Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, N.J.

Lonegan is running against physician Alieta Eck in the Republican primary.

The Democratic primary victor is heavily favored to win Lautenberg's seat, largely because Democrats outnumber Republicans in New Jersey by some 700,000 registered voters, the report said.

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Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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