Official challenges Christie’s authority to call a special election

    A Democratic party official in northern New Jersey is challenging Gov. Chris Christie’s authority to call a special election in October to complete the U.S. Senate term of the late Frank Lautenberg.

    The lawsuit brought by Somerset County Democratic County Chairwoman Peg Schaffer claims the election is illegal and an attempt to suppress the vote.

    Schaffer said her law firm asked for and received permission from the state appellate division to file a motion for emergent relief. She says the suit wasn’t filed on behalf of the county party.

    Schaffer wants the special election, scheduled for Oct. 16, to occur on the same date as the November general election in which Christie is seeking another term.

    Michael Drewniak, Christie’s spokesman, said the governor followed the law in setting the date.

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