The Hill reports that Governor Chris Christie can appoint a replacement until a special election is held, and some are speculating whether he will appoint a Republican:
According to New Jersey election law, Christie may appoint a replacement to temporarily fill Lautenberg's seat until a special election occurs to elect someone to serve out the remainder of Lautenberg's term.Lautenberg's passing offers the opportunity for Christie to appoint a Republican. Virginia conservative radio host John Fredericks speculated on Facebook Monday afternoon that two names Christie may be considering are Sen. Joe Kyrillos, a longtime friend, or Tom Kean, Sr., a former NJ governor.
Christie may set the date of the special election. It's unclear whether he'll choose to schedule it on the same day as the gubernatorial and state legislative elections on Nov. 5.
Setting the special on the same date as the upcoming gubernatorial election could give a boost to a Republican candidate from Christie's coattails, as he's running far ahead of the Democratic candidate for governor and is expected to easily defeat her.