NJ governor seeking successor to late senator Frank Lautenberg

Decision could have big political impact

CRANBURY, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie faces a significant decision on who should succeed the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

For Christie, a Republican, the choice carries major political implications for his re-election campaign and, perhaps, a future presidential run.

Republicans and Democrats alike will be watching Christie's next moves closely. But for the governor with an independent streak, there's no telling what he will do.

The decision was thrust upon Christie as he opens his fall re-election campaign. New Jersey's primary is Tuesday and the governor is starting a new phase of his re-election campaign against state Sen. Barbara Buono.

Christie is favored to win re-election, and a strong victory could bolster his case in a 2016 Republican presidential primary.

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