Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) has introduced legislation today to save taxpayers millions of dollars by changing this year’s November General election to coincide with the special election scheduled for October 16; the General election would revert back to November in 2014. Senator Turner also introduced a second bill to eliminate the option of a special election to fill vacancies in either house of Congress and require that individuals who receive temporary appointments to fill such vacancies be of the same political party as the person vacating the position. State law currently allows the governor to hold a special election or appoint an interim to fulfill the full term of the predecessor.
Senator Turner’s legislation comes on the heels of Governor Christie’s decision to hold two special elections to fill the U.S. Senate position left vacant after Senator Lautenberg’s passing. The state’s bi-partisan Office of Legislative Services estimates the total cost of holding two special elections to be about $24 million.
“I have spoken with a number of my colleagues who are very supportive of the bill,” said Senator Turner. “I have also had discussions with Chairman Whelan and requested that he post the bill at the earliest possible meeting of the Senate State Government Committee.”