Tags: chris christie | bob menendez | replacement | senate

Politico: Christie's Last Big Move May Be Menendez Replacement in Senate

Image: Politico: Christie's Last Big Move May Be Menendez Replacement in Senate
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (AP)

Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 07:29 PM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's last days in office may allow him high-stakes influence in shaping GOP national politics – by choosing to replace, even if only temporarily, a successor for the Garden State's senior Democratic Sen Bob Menendez.

Menendez is scheduled to go on trial for corruption in September, and Politico reported there's two scenarios that could see him leave Washington before Christie is term-limited out of office in January: If Menendez is convicted and the Senate acts quickly to expel him, or if he cuts a plea deal and leaves office even earlier.

Republicans' slim two-vote majority in the Senate — and the fact some GOP incumbents up for re-election in 2018 reside in swing states — makes every vote crucial to pass President Donald Trump's agenda, Politico noted.

Though Christie could tap someone from his inner circle for the position should it become vacant, some aren't discounting the possibility that Christie could put himself in the Senate seat.

"In terms of rescuing his political ambitions, we've seen Christie basically scraping the bottom of the barrel for whatever crumbs he can get," Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray said. "So nothing is out of the realm of possibility."

Christie won't say himself if he'd call a special election to replace Menendez if he's forced from office.

"Sen. Menendez is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and he deserves that presumption of innocence, he's earned that presumption of innocence as a United States citizen, and it would be in my mind inappropriate for the governor of this state to be speculating," Christie said at a news conference Monday, Politico reported.

"I'm not going to answer questions about a vacancy in the United States Senate that presumes the finding of guilt by a jury before anyone has heard one stitch of evidence. It's not appropriate. I won't engage in it."

Democrats are hoping for the best.

"I just have faith that the senator is going to be exonerated, and we'll go on from there," state Democratic Chairman John Currie told Politico.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's last days in office may allow him high-stakes influence in shaping GOP national politics – by choosing to replace, even if only temporarily, a successor for the Garden State's senior Democratic Sen Bob Menendez.
chris christie, bob menendez, replacement, senate
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2017-29-20
Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 07:29 PM
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