Morning News Digest: June 5, 2013



Morning News Digest: June 5, 2013

By Matthew Arco



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Christie calls for October special election to replace Lautenberg


Gov. Chris Christie today called for a special election on Oct. 16 to replace U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died Monday at the age of 89.


The October special election means the primary will be held on Aug. 13.


Christie said he decided to opt for the October special election because it’s the quickest way possible to get someone who has been chosen by the people of the state in the seat. (Isherwood & Arco/PolitickerNJ)



Chrisite says the state is being ‘presented with an opportunity’


BRIDGEWATER – Gov. Chris Christie declared “yes” to a crowd of hundreds of Republicans Tuesday night who chanted for “four more years, four more years.”


The governor boasted cutting taxes and slashing spending during his first term in office, telling the audience at the New Jersey GOP primary victory party that he plans to do more of the same if re-elected to office. (Arco/PolitickerNJ)



Buono: ‘together, we can create a better New Jersey’


EDISON – Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18) declared victory tonight in the Democratic Primary for governor in front of a crowd of Democrats gathered in the ballroom of the Edison Hotel. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



James wins East Orange Council seat


Chris James, chief of staff of Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34), won a council seat in East Orange tonight. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



O’Scanlon and Handlin win big in Monmouth


Assembly representatives Declan O’Scanlon and Amy Handlin won handily tonight in their 13th District primary, defeating two Tea Party backed challengers. (Isherwood/PolitickerNJ)



Langford wins in AC


Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford has won his mayoral primary. (Isherwood/PolitickerNJ)



Christie and Buono wrap up yawner of primary season


As expected both Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic challenger Barbara Buono won going away Tuesday and will face off in November.


Each ran a virtually uncontested primary, with both facing unknown and underfunded challengers. With nearly 40 percent of the vote counted, Christie had garnered over 90 percent of the vote over challenger Seth Grossman while Buono was hovering at about 87 percent over challenger Troy Webster. (Isherwood/PolitickerNJ)



East Orange Mayor Bowser loses to Lester Taylor


East Orange Mayor Bob Bowser lost his re-election bid tonight to challenger Lester Taylor, who had the support of the East Orange Democratic Party. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Mapp wins in Plainfield


Councilman Adrian Mapp has won the mayor’s race in Plainfield. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Kyrillos wins in LD13


State Sen. Joe Kyrillos has won big in his 13th District Republican primary. (Isherwood/PolitickerNJ)



Gill wins re-election in LD 34


Incumbent state Sen. Nia Gill (D-34) defeated challenger Mark Alexander tonight in the LD 34 Democratic Primary. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Lesniak wins convincing victory


State Sen. Ray Lesniak has won a convincing victory in his 20th District primary.


Lesniak defeated fellow Democrat and Roselle school board member Donna Obe. (Isherwood/PolitickerNJ)



Sources: Holt will run for US Senate seat


U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) told three Democratic Party county chairs that he plans to seek the U.S. Senate seat.


The Central Jersey resident from Hopewell has a reputation as a dogged campaigner. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Sources: Pallone running for U.S. Senate


U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) is running for the U.S. Senate, sources told


The veteran Congressman is talking to Democratic Party leaders, and making calls to party members informing them of his intent in advance of the Aug. 13 special primary election. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



O’Scanlon: Prank call likely the work of challengers


Republican Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon said today a 4 a.m. prank robocall received by Monmouth County residents was likely the work of Tea Party challengers.


O’Scanlon said the voice on the call is “unquestionably similar to the voice on the Leigh Ann Bellew for Senate answering machine.” (Isherwood/PolitickerNJ)



Christie, Buono clear first hurdles


Governor Christie and Democratic challenger Barbara Buono both cleared nominal primary challenges Tuesday, setting the stage for a general election that will see millions of dollars in campaign spending, much of it from outside groups.


The governor, a Republican, celebrated his primary victory with supporters Tuesday night at a hotel in Bridgewater. (Reitmeyer & Hayes/The Record)



Lautenberg hailed as a true New Jerseyan


TRENTON – The plaudits for the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg poured in Monday from near and far, but none was so effusive – nor so surprising – as those of an old rival, Gov. Christie.


Christie took the lectern early Monday at a women’s networking and leadership conference at which nothing more was expected than an off-the-shelf greeting. Instead, he launched into a five-minute extemporaneous eulogy for Lautenberg, who once, in a fit of pique over Christie’s conservative politics, described him as “the king of the liars.” (Mondics/Inquirer)



Why a special senate election could be great for Christie


Gov. Christie refused to entertain the idea that politics played a role in his decision to hold a special primary election on Aug. 13, and a special general election on Oct. 16, for a permanent replacement to the late Sen. Lautenberg. 


He said he thinks having an election ASAP — three weeks before his own re-election in November, and more than a year before November 2014 — fulfills the wishes of Lautenberg, an acknowledged political nemesis who also “fought tirelessly for the people of New Jersey.” (Katz/Inquirer)



Up to Christie who will fill seat


TRENTON – Gov. Christie gained a new power Monday: Senatorial kingmaker.


News of the death of Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg set off speculation from Washington to Trenton about whom the Republican governor will choose to fill the Senate seat – and when and how he will make the move. The decision has implications for this year’s gubernatorial election, Christie’s future as a possible presidential candidate, and the balance of power in Congress. (Katz & Tamari/Inquirer)



Christie, Buono clash on turnaround as race set


BRIDGEWATER — Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono brushed aside token opposition Tuesday for their party nominations for governor in what has been a lopsided battle between a celebrity chief executive and a legislator who has struggled for campaign cash and recognition.


The races’ final days were overshadowed by the death of U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg and Christie’s decision, on primary day, to announce an October special election to fill the seat rather than have the contest coincide with the Nov. 5 general election. (AP)



Cory Booker’s unexpected sprint for Senate


This was not the summer Cory Booker was expecting.

As the fundraising and polling favorite, the Newark mayor was not expected to face much of a challenge for Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s seat heading into 2014. Democrats far outnumber Republicans in the state, and in terms of a primary challenge, the conventional wisdom was that Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), who had long hoped to succeed Lautenberg, wouldn’t give up a safe House seat to make it happen. (Haberman/POLITICO)



Sweeney says Christie’s call to expedite U.S. Senate race could backfire


State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to expedite the U.S. Senate race and avoid combining it with the general election could backfire.

Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said the scheduled August primary to fill U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s seat will be hotly contested, energizing voters and allowing Democrats to increase their voter registration advantage in the state. (Renshaw/Star-Ledger)



Chris Christie’s special election announcement sparks tweets


Twitter raised eyebrows at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and questioned his motivations on Tuesday when he asserted that a special election would be held to fill the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s seat, striking his usual tough tone. (POLITICO)



Christie Decides on October Vote for New Senator


TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie announced on Tuesday a highly unusual special election that was immediately criticized for costing the state $24 million and setting up a schedule that was likely to confuse the voting public. Voters will go to the polls on a Wednesday in October to cast ballots for a new senator, then return just three weeks later for the regularly scheduled general election, in which Mr. Christie will stand for a second term.


For Mr. Christie, a Republican who has cultivated an image as a tough-talking independent, the rapidly made choice represented a calculated risk — to endure short-term criticism from both Republicans and Democrats in order to protect his longer-term goals of winning re-election and positioning himself for a presidential run in 2016. (Zernike & Halbfinger/NYTimes)


 Special Election Timing in New Jersey Points to a Weak G.O.P. Field 

 Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has scheduled an Oct. 16 special election to replace Frank R. Lautenberg, the Democratic senator who died on Monday. Mr. Christie will appoint a replacement for Mr. Lautenberg in the interim, but he has yet to announce his pick. His choice of timing for the special election, however, may indicate that he expects the Republican candidates to be weak. (Silver/NYTimes)



End of N.J. primary marks the start of the battle to control the Legislature 

At a breakfast early Monday morning at Drumthwacket, the governor’s official residence in Princeton, Gov. Chris Christie was addressing dozens of Republican activists. 

The pep talk — delivered shortly before the news of U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s death — didn’t dwell on Christie’s own primary against a nominal opponent, or his race in November against state Sen. Barbara Buono. It was all about the candidates below him on the ballot. (Friedman/Star-Ledger)



From the Back Room 



Booker: ‘Finishing what we started’


Newark Mayor Cory Booker made calls to Democratic Party leaders this week, shoring up support for a run for the U.S. Senate, sources told


It appears that Booker will face U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) in a Democratic Primary battle, at the very least. Two sources described U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) in hardcore mulling mode. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Newark’s potential legal imbroglio


If Newark Mayor Cory Booker runs in a special October election for the vacant U.S. Senate seat, he could intensify a developing brawl for his own vacated mayoral seat.


If Booker wins the Senate seat and is sworn into federal office on Oct. 26, Acting Council President Anibal Ramos – if he can hold his majority on the council, is positioned to become acting mayor. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Christie could make history with Senate successor


Gov. Chris Christie could make history this week as he prepares to choose a successor to U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.


Among the names circulating in Republican circles as a possible successor is that of current Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who is running alongside Christie for a second term. (Isherwood/PolitickerNJ)



Lautenberg funeral service Wednesday


The funeral for U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg will be at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Park Avenue Synogogue, Madison Avenue and 87th Street, Manhattan, according to Riverside Memorial Chapel.


Senior Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove will officiate at the service, the Memorial Chapel reported. (PolitickerNJ)






Stile: Political benefits, but criticism on both sides


Governor Christie is betting that the long-term political benefits of holding a special election to replace the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg is worth the price in short-term political fallout.


The decision to schedule the election on Oct. 16 — preceded by an Aug. 13 primary — burdens Christie with new political baggage. He has opened himself to charges of being a cost-cutting hypocrite, squandering $24 million in taxpayer funds on an unneeded election. (Stile/The Record)



Moran: Lautenberg’s decision to stick it out came at a price for Democrats


It was the year 2000, and U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg was hosting a party in his Washington office to mark his voluntary retirement from politics. He seemed glum, even miserable.


“He instantly regretted that decision, and he was candid about it that day,” says professor Ross Baker of Rutgers University, who was present. “He seemed genuinely distressed about leaving.” (Moran/Star-Ledger)



Gov. Christie’s Quick, Costly Decision


Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey had a straightforward choice in filling the Senate vacancy left by the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg on Monday. He could have added the Senate race to the general election on Nov. 5, the day he is up for re-election in what is expected to be an easy glide into a second term. Instead, he called for a special election on Oct. 16, a Wednesday, with a primary on Aug. 13 — a schedule that might give him a small political advantage but at considerable and needless cost to state taxpayers. (NYTimes) Morning News Digest: June 5, 2013