Bramnick Passes On Special Senate Election As Candidates Make Decisions [AUDIO]
Assemblyman Jon Bramnick has taken himself out of the running for the Frank Lautenberg's U.S. Senate seat while Congressman Rush Holt puts himself in as Governor Chris Christie is expected to announce his choice to temporarily fill the seat this afternoon.
Christie has called a Statehouse press conference for1:30 p.m. and will likely announce who will fill Lautenberg's seat until October when a special election is held to permanently fill the seat.
Potential candidates must quickly weigh their options in order to meet Monday afternoon's deadline to turn in petitions to be on the ballot for the August Senate special election primary.
Holt, a Democrat from New Jersey's 12th congressional district has asked supporters to sign his petition to seek his party's nomination in the August primary. " I believe I am the best candidate to continue the passionate advocacy for progressive values that Sen. Lautenberg exemplified." Holt, a scientist, is the first Democrat to formally announce.
Bramnick: "It's Not My Time"
The 21th Legislative District Republican told Townsquare Media's Eric Scott that while he gave it serious thought believes "it's not my time" and pass on the special election. Instead, as a Republican leader, he will focus on electing more Republicans to the legislature.
"I am going to finish the work to try and lead the Republicans to a legislative majority in Trenton," said Bramnick, adding that he will not rule out a run next year.
He has not decided about supporting Steve Lonegan, who declared yesterday he will run and has started collecting signatures. State Senator Mike Doherty threw his support behind Lonegan in declining to run.
State Senator Joe Kyrillos, who lost a Senate election to Robert Menendez in November, has also decided against a run.
Trenton businessman Joe Plumeri is said to be interested in running according to the Star Ledger and has reached out to GOP leaders. The co-owners of the Trenton Thunder recently stepped down as CEO of the Willis Group.
Listen to Eric Scott's conversation with Jon Bramnick
Booker Likely To Run
Cory Booker's spokesman Kevin Griffs confirms to the Star Ledger that the Newark Mayor has started collecting the required 1,000 signatures from Democrats. The timetable on Booker's campaign has been greatly accelerated by the death of Frank Lautenberg and the special election called by Governor Christie. He will also have to break his promise to serve out his term as mayor made prior to Lautenberg's death.
Governor Christie will name an interim Senator by the end of the week. He said during Tuesday's press conference announcing the special election that whoever he names will be on the job next week.
Democrat Congressmen Frank Pallone also has an interest in the race. Holt, Christie and Pallone were at Lautenberg's funeral in New York yesterday. South Jersey congressman Rob Andrews is also mulling over a run.