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State Supreme Court Upholds Special Senate Election

The New Jersey state Supreme Court has upheld the dates of New Jersey’s special Senate election.

New Jersey Supreme Court justices
New Jersey Supreme Court justices (NJ Judiciary)

After reviewing the briefs filed by both sides the Court issued a one-page ruling in support of the state Superior Court’s rejection of a challenge to Governor Christie’s decision on how to fill the United States Senate seat held by the late Frank Lautenberg.

“Without question, the Governor was authorized to call a special election in this circumstance,” state Superior Court Judge Jane Grall wrote.The court did not rule on the judgement of having two elections so close and said it was a  “matter of speculation” if it was a burden on voters.

The state Supreme Court decision has ruled the matter moot and there is no other legal recourse for opponents of the August 16 primary and October 16 election dates.

Read The State Supreme Court Ruling

Christie, Buono  & Pallone Respond

In a statement Christie Press Secretary Michael Drewniak said, “We are extremely gratified by the result, in which the Supreme Court clearly recognized that Governor Christie acted within the law established by the legislature.  We can all move forward now with certainty and give New Jersey voters the opportunity they deserve in choosing who they want representing them in the United States Senate.

Democrats had a different view and both Senate candidate Frank Pallone and gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono were disappointed in the decision.

Pallone in a statement “hoped the Supreme Court would at least allow a fair and just hearing on this matter which clearly holds great import for people across the state.  Their decision to not even provide the opportunity to be heard is unfortunate, and a disservice to New Jersey’s voters.” Pallone shares Buono’s still Christie’s choice was motivated by politics.

“His shamelessly cynical decision is a deliberate effort to confuse New Jersey voters and will cost taxpayers well beyond $24 million. By holding two elections three weeks apart, he is clearly guided only by what is best for him, not what is best for New Jersey, said Buono in a statement. “It is just another example of the cynical conservative philosophy that disenfranchising voters is a viable path to victory.”

Critics of the dates said it’s outrageous that the governor wants to spend an extra $12 million to hold an election three weeks before the November general election.  They suggest he doesn’t want to have Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s name on the ballot in November, because it could take potential votes away from Christie.

The governor insisted he simply wants to hold an election as quickly as possible, to give the people of New Jersey a choice in who they send to Washington to represent them.

On the Democrat side, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver will be on the ballot. Steve Lonegan and Dr. Alieta Malwitz Eck wil run on the Republican side.

FULL COVERAGE: Special Senate Election

David Matthau and Kevin McArdle contributed to this report

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