By Syma Chowdhry
TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — Politicians vying for New Jersey’s vacant U.S. Senate seat filed paperwork at the state elections office Monday.
Candidates came with a thousand names on a petition to take part in the upcoming special election.
On the Democratic side, the candidates are Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Congressman Rush Holt and Congressman Frank Pallone.
On the Republican side, there’s Dr. Alieta Eck, who is from Somerset and has not yet held an elected position.
Also, former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan, a conservative who unsuccessfully ran against Governor Christie during the gubernatorial primaries, is in the running and believes Christie will support him.
Governor Christie declined to comment when asked if he supported Lonegan, but he responded to criticism from some Democrats about holding the election in October.
“They wanted a senator as soon as possible. I’m giving it to them. They are getting a senator even sooner than they hoped, elected by the people,” Gov. Christie explained.
Gov. Christie also says there will be enough time in the next few months for the candidates to get their name out there.
As for those who say the senate elections will result in low turnout and will distract voters, the governor says, “If you have candidates which excite them and challenge them, then they are going to come to the polls, no matter what time of year it is.”
Now that the deadline has passed, the next date the candidates will look forward to is August 13, which is the primary election. The winners of that will square off on Wednesday, October 16 for the special general election for the Senate seat.