Christie Calls Special Election for Senate Seat, Manages to Avoid Sharing A Ballot With Cory Booker

A Politico breaking news email just popped in my inbox:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie today called a special general election for Oct. 16 to fill the seat of late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Christie said his decision was dictated by state election law and sources say his office believes it would lose a court fight if he had scheduled the election for November instead. The move all but ensures criticism that he is unnecessarily spending millions of taxpayer dollars to serve his own political needs. The timing means that popular Newark Mayor Cory Booker will not be on the ballot – potentially stoking Democratic turnout – when voters decide whether to give Christie another term in November.

CNN’s breaking-news email—just a few minutes slower than Politico’s—adds:

At a news conference, Christie said he will name an interim senator by next week to serve until the special election. He told reporters he did not think it was right for someone to serve on an interim basis until November 2014.