June 4th, 2013
01:50 PM ET
10 years ago

Christie opts for special election, says voters should decide

(CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie opted for a special election to fill a newly vacant Senate seat through 2014 instead of appointing a replacement through that time, saying the decision was about giving voters "a choice and a voice in the process" and was not driven by political self-interest.

While the Republican's decision for a special October ballot could help him avoid stronger Democratic turnout in his re-election bid a month later, it also opens him up to criticism from his own party that is on the short end of the balance of power in the Senate.

Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Joe

    Isn't this a waste of money and transparent political ploy when the general election is only a couple of weeks away?

    June 4, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Jack Be Humble

    Allowing the people of New Jersey to decide their next Senator is a smart move for everyone concerned. As a moderate Republican, who usually feels disenfranchised, I feel somewhat empowered. I hope Governor Christie does run for President in 2016. I would like the Democrats to have a legitimate rival.

    June 4, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Fred Evil

    He had the capacity to be partisan, and he took the bipartisan way out. Gov. Christie seems too moderate and level-headed to be associated with the GoP any more.

    June 4, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. allenwoll

    Christie dodged the bullet !

    June 4, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. lena316

    You best believe this is not for the good of the people. Christie is at the bottom, top, and all around this. There is always a motive.

    June 4, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. gregofla

    I think Christie put the State before politics. The people of the State will not have to wait 18 months to have a say in who their junior Senator is. Yes, it costs money, but the people will have their say.

    June 4, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. Mike

    Christie is playing the long game here. Going the appointment route would have won favor with the conservative base by appointing one of their own and saving money on those pesky special elections the conservatives might lose. Letting the voters decide makes Christie look more presidential, something that he could be rewarded for in 2016 if the Tea Party fever breaks and the Republican Party shifts back towards the center. If the Tea Party is still a major force in 2016, Christie is toast already, having committed the sin of working with Obama in the wake of Sandy last fall.

    June 4, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. California Gary

    Congratulations.......you have chosen wisely grasshopper.

    June 4, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Joe Pah

    Very politically astute move by the Gov. He had many choices, and this was the most polticatlly pragmatic, and the least likely to offend Democratic NJ Voters, and Republican sponsors.

    Now he should name an interim Senator who will most likely be on the ballot

    June 4, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Searcher

    Christie is acting as a MODERATE REPUBLICAN should. Too bad that wing of the party has been killed off by ZEALOTS....

    June 4, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Bootstomper

    The tea party people wouldn't vote for Christie no matter what he did and who gives a rats ass what South Carolina thinks.

    June 4, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. Amazing

    I respect Christie's decision as I believe it is the right one. I may disagree with some of his politics and his methods but I do believe he is a man of integrity. He is a Republican I could vote for.

    June 4, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Djkrs

    Christie doesn't care how much the special election costs because he'd pay anything not to appear on the same ballot as Booker one month later in November.

    June 4, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. al

    The more this man does his job the more I like him!!

    June 4, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. Mark Ing

    This was a shrewd move on Christie's part. It avoids the special election when he's trying to hold on to his seat in November which will likely result in a bigger Dem turnout for the vacant Senate seat.

    June 4, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. Duke Silver

    While it may appear to be good natured at the onset, the addition of an extra election taking place before the general in November is only so that Christie doesn't have to run the risk of sending more Dems to the ballot when his bid is up. This way, he attempts to make everyone happy, but ends up spending a ton of money on a superfluous election that could've just as easily taken place less than a month later, at the same time as the election in November.

    I'm all for the decision to let the people pick who fills the empty Senate seat, but choosing to hold it a month earlier is just political gamesmanship disguised as a desire to fill the seat as early as possible (by a whopping ~28 days...)

    June 4, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. SokrMom

    See, he's a smart guy–he split the baby...

    June 4, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. WatchDawg

    John Andrews,
    So, Chris
    tie has a chance to appoint a consrvative senator in Jersey and throws it away to spend time, state money and everything on two more elections. Really starting to wonder about htis guy.


    And if Christie had appointed a Democratic Senator, you still wouldn't be happy...Is there anything you TGOP'rs won't complain about?

    June 4, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. clydealan

    Dr. Tom – that would be ONE YEAR and three weeks before the scheduled regular election. All in all a classy move by the Gov. A politician actually doing the right thing. More of them should hang around our President.

    June 4, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Codestud3

    What would a democrat Obama loving governor do?

    June 4, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. Bob

    It's a New Jersey tradition. Placeholder, then election.

    June 4, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. Joe

    Christie vs Clinton in 2016?

    June 4, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. gameon

    Good Job, Making smart moves before he runs for office. Rather have a guy in office that can tell it like it is...

    June 4, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. Tom Paine Himself

    "I don't know what the costs are, and frankly I don't care," Christie said.

    It's not his money!!!

    June 4, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. Jim

    Typical move by Christie - putting his own selfish interests ahead of what's right for the people of NJ. He's going to spend millions of tax-payor dollars to hold a special election about three weeks BEFORE a general election is already scheduled - just so that his re-election for Governor heads the ballot in November. New Jersey , come to your senses: Christie doesn't care us one bit. He's a clown who's only in it for himself!

    June 4, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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