Court Allows Special Election To Proceed

STATE – A court ruling on Thursday clears the way for a special election in October to replace the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

A group of Democrats represented by Somerset Democratic Party chairwoman Peg Schaffer filed a motion to stop the October election because holding it separately from the November general election will cost taxpayers an extra $12 million.

Judge Jane Gall wrote “objections to the costs of this election are matters of policy that, in our view, are not questions for the court. The question for us is whether the date selected is in violation of the law or Constitution, and we conclude that it is not.”

The court’s decision is being appealed to New Jersey’s Supreme Court.

Democrats believe that Republican Gov. Chris Christie did not want his re-election vote on the same ballot as the Senate race, which would likely have increased Democratic turnout.

Two Republicans and four Democrats filed petitions to run in the special election primary on Aug. 13.

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