New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) announced Tuesday that the state would hold a special election in October to fill the seat of Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg.
Lautenberg has left the governor with a tough decision that is bound to anger half of Congress, one way or the other. The Democrats, of course, feel entitled to the seat but the Republicans, Christie’s own party, are pressuring him as well.
Lautenberg, 89, died Monday due to complications with pneumonia. He has served in the Senate since 1982 and announced Friday he intended to retire in 2015 at the end of his term.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) has already announced his intentions to run for the seat.
Christie is moderately liked by the Democrats, but alienating them by appointing a Republican interim senator in a state that hasn’t had an elected Republican senator since 1972 will undoubtedly create a rift. Either way, his lose-lose situation may hurt his chances for a 2016 presidential run.