Sounding Like a Candidate, Sheila Oliver Says Race for Lautenberg’s Seat Is Anybody’s Game

The list of who’s running to take the place of the late Frank Lautenberg’s Senate seat is getting longer. Names include Cory Booker, Frank Pallone, Rush Holt, Jon Bramnick and now, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver.

Since Gov. Christie’s announcement yesterday that a primary and general special election will be scheduled in August and October respectively, Oliver says she is scurrying to explore her own candidacy because it’s “anybody’s game.”

However, Oliver told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that she does not approve of Christie’s decision to hold the special election in October.

“I do believe in my interpretation of the statute that it should be held in the next general election which would be November,” she said.

Moving up the date, she says, will result in voter disenfranchisement.

“For the governor to announce yesterday that there will a special election and any candidate in New Jersey has an interest in running has 5 days to file petitions, I feel we may be bordering on a violation of the Voting Rights Act,” explained Oliver.

Oliver also takes issue with the presumption that Newark Mayor Cory Booker is the heir apparent to Lautenberg’s Senate seat.

“There is no such thing as an heir apparent to U.S. Senate seat,” she said emphatically.

When told that she already sounded like a candidate, she responded, “it does, doesn’t it?”