Christie Picks NJ Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa As Interim Senator

From the New York Times:

“Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey on Thursday announced the appointment of Jeffrey S. Chiesa, the state’s attorney general, to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Frank R. Lautenberg.

The appointment comes as Democrats and Republicans across the state scramble to line up support, raise money and secure enough signatures ahead of Monday’s deadline to compete in the August primary.”

I did a quick Google search of his name, and I can’t find him anywhere as a possible Senate pick. So it looks like Christie decided to play it safe and picked a close confidant to keep the seat warm until the special election in October. And with Corey Booker poised to enter the race, it looks like this seat will return to Democratic control in a few months.

I’m sure many Republicans are angry at Christie for not giving them a shot at holding this seat, and to be honest I can’t blame them. First of all, the October special election date gives very little time for the lesser known GOP hopefuls to establish name recognition. Meanwhile, Democrat Corey Booker is widely known in the state and enjoys high favorability ratings. Secondly, by appointing a placeholder Christie denies his party’s nominee the benefits of incumbency. Given the inherent Democratic advantage in New Jersey, the GOP candidate needs all the help he can get.

Christie has been on shaky ground with the conservative base of the party ever since he effusively praised President Obama on his response to Hurricane Sandy. I have a feeling that ground just got a lot shakier. Anyway, come October the senator from New Jersey will have a D next to his name, and his name will be Corey Booker.

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