SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ – A Special Primary Election for U.S. Senate will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 13, to select candidates for a special October election. The special election is needed to fill the seat left vacant by the death of five-term Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg on June 3.
The four candidates in the Democratic primary are:
Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark
Rush Holt, Jr., U.S. Representative
Sheila Oliver, Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly
Frank Pallone, U.S. Representative
The two candidates in the Republican primary are:
Alieta Eck, Somerset County physician
Steve Lonegan, conservative activist and former mayor of Bogota
The two winners will face off in the special election on Oct. 16. The victorious candidate will then serve as U.S. Senator until January 2015 and would have to run again in the fall 2014 elections to serve a full six-year Senate term.
October’s special election is estimated to cost New Jersey $24 million, and is taking place just three weeks before the regularly scheduled November elections. Many officials have commented that the schedule may confuse voters and keep them away from the polls on the special election day.
Since Lautenberg’s death, the Senate seat has been held by former state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, who was appointed on June 6 by Governor Chris Christie to serve until the elected winner can be sworn in. At the time of his appointment, Chiesa said that he would not be a candidate in the special election.
Registered voters may find the location of their polling places here: Polling Place Search.
If any Scotch Plains or Fanwood resident wish to use a vote-by-mail ballot, they can drop them off in person at Union County Clerk offices in Westfield and Elizabeth by Monday Aug. 12. For a printable ballot, visit http://ucnj.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/union-sample-SPN-5.pdf.