Who will fill term of late Sen. Frank Lautenberg?

Sen. Frank Lautenberg is shown in his office in Newark, N.J. on Dec. 14, 2006. (AP Photo/Tim Larsen)
June 3, 2013 2:47:18 PM PDT
New Jersey's Republican governor, Chris Christie, will get to pick a replacement in the U.S. Senate for Democrat Frank Lautenberg, who died Monday at 89.

But it's not yet known who that person will be.

A source told ABC News on Monday that Gov. Christie "hasn't picked a day" when he will announce his plans for a special election to fill the unexpired term of Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Much of it has to do with the schedule of religious and official ceremonies, which are expected to include events in New Jersey, New York and Washington. Lautenberg was Jewish so there may also be a Shiva period after burial.

"But he (Christie) is going to want to do it sooner rather than later because people are going to want to know and they're going to ask about it," the source said.

Two state laws govern when a special election should be held to fill a vacancy.

The possibilities seem to be this November, June 2014, November 2014 - all regularly scheduled election days - or some other date chosen by the governor.

A court may be asked to decide which law applies and how to interpret it.

Christie could appoint a member of his party to fill the seat, which has been in Democratic hands for three decades.

There was no immediate word when Christie might make his decision.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, had previously announced his intention to seek the seat in 2014.


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