October 15, 2013 at 12:00 AM
NEW JERSEY - Polls will be open Wednesday for the New Jersey Special General Election to determine who will fill out the remaining term of the U.S. Senate seat vacated when Senator Frank Lautenberg died on June 3.
For the past four months, the seat has been filled by Republican Jeffrey Chiesa, who was appointed on an interim basis by Gov. Chris Christie on June 6. Chiesa is not on the ballot to fill the seat permanently, however.
Former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan, a Republican, and current Newark mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, have been waging a contentious campaign for the open seat, which will again be contested in the general election in November 2014, when Lautenberg’s term would have been up. Lonegan ran against Christie in the Republican primary for governor in 2009, but has backed the governor in his reelection bid.
The Democrats currently have a 52-46 advantage in U.S. Senate seats, with two independents.
This special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat is taking place separately from the general election on Nov. 5, when Christie is up for reelection and facing a challenge from Democrat candidate Barbara Buono, a state senator representing the 18th Legislative District.