By David Madden

By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey governor Chris Christie has scheduled a special election this year to fill the unexpired term of the late US senator, Frank Lautenberg (see related story).

Insisting this was a decision too important to be made by one man — or even a group of political leaders — Christie signed the papers to get the special election process rolling.

Candidates have about two weeks to decide if they want to be on the ballot or not.

“The primary election for the United States Senate will be held on Tuesday, August 13th, 2013, which is 70 days to the issuance of this writ,” Christie announced today.  “And then, 64 days thereafter, the general special election will be held on Wednesday, October 16th.”

That schedule would ensure the Republican governor’s own re-election bid remains at the top of the ballot in New Jersey this November.

And there will be an interim appointment to the post, which Christie says he will address within the next few days (see related story).

He won’t hint who he might name but says he has a short list in mind.  And if the interim senator opts to enter the special election, Christie indicates, so be it.

Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, announced months ago that he intended to run for the seat in 2014.


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