Christie holding afternoon news conference with Senate appointment up in the air

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will hold a 1:30 p.m. news conference, his office announced Thursday morning. It's possible Christie will use the occasion to announce a replacement for late Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Christie's office did not provide any guidance about the subject of the news conference. But the governor has said he intends to promptly appoint a replacement for Lautenberg, who died on Monday.

"I don't dawdle," he said Tuesday.

PolitickerNJ reported that Port Authority Chairman David Samson, a former attorney general and close Christie ally, has emerged as a possible contender to get the appointment. If Christie taps Samson, it would continue a trend of governors appointing close confidants to the Senate.

Christie has called for an October special election and August primary to fill out the remainder of Lautenberg's term. The governor said Tuesday he was open to appointing someone who will serve only as a placeholder, but didn't rule out tapping someone with interest in running in the special election, either.

Candidates have until Monday to submit the requisite signatures to appear on the special election ballot.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Aaron Blake · June 6, 2013