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U.S. Senator Cory Booker. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Senate bill allows Booker to run for two offices in 2020

Sweeney proposal is fast-tracked for committee hearing on Monday

By David Wildstein, October 18 2018 5:46 pm

A Senate committee will consider a bill on Monday that would allow Cory Booker to run for both president and re-election to the United States Senate in 2020.

The bill, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, is being fast-tracked.

S-3106 is not yet available on the state website.

The bill would allow Booker to avoid choosing between a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and another term in the Senate.  If the bill passes, Booker could legally run for both offices simultaneously.

The proposed new law might not be necessary under existing statutes, according to a state election law expert, but it would make the legislative intent of allowing Booker to seek both offices in 2020 explicit.

That would potentially allow Booker to avoid a legal challenge if he does decide to run for both.

Booker would still, of course, have the option of not running again — especially if he does well in early primaries and caucuses and appears headed toward the nomination.  The filing deadline would remain in April.

And Booker could run in the Democratic primary and then drop his re-election bid.  That would trigger a vote of the Democratic State Committee to pick a replacement candidate.

Under the proposed legislation, Booker could just run for both offices.  If he were to win the presidency, he would simply resign from the Senate in January 2021 and the governor would appoint someone to serve until a special election was held.

That could put Murphy in the same boat as Chris Christie was in 2013, when Frank Lautenberg passed away.  The governor would need  to decide if he wants a free-standing special election — as Christie did in the situation that led to Booker’s election — or run the office when he would presumably be seeking re-election.

It is unclear how the proposal would affect Booker running for both U.S. Senate and Vice President in 2020.

Some states have passed similar laws in the most, most recently in Kentucky so that Rand Paul could run for President and U.S. Senate in 2016.

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4 thoughts on “Senate bill allows Booker to run for two offices in 2020

  1. This-is-a travesty! If Cory Booker wants to run for president he should resign instead of campaigning at taxpayer expense! He’s no better than Republican Chris Christie, who spent a year out of state in the two years leading up to his spectacular failure in the race for the 2016 GOP nomination.

  2. This makes it seem as if Senate President Steve Sweeney has no confidence that Cory Booker can be elected president, since he wants to provide a back-up plan. Of course, this has the added appeal that it would allow political insiders to rig the process, by letting the governor would appoint someone instead of trusting democracy.

    Instead of trying to preordain the results of each election, Sweeney should enact a minimum wage law that forces employers to pay working people enough to live on. Sweeney could also fund his lavish spending and relieve the burden on middle class families by making the wealthy one percent pay a little more, since he passed a millionaires’ tax five times while Chris Christie was governor.

    Sweeney is a product of political corruption who wants to extend the power of party bosses. This should be a clarion call for ordinary Americans who are tired of being cheated and robbed by those entrusted with public responsibilities. And those who stand in the way should remember these words from President John F. Kennedy: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

    There is a revolution coming. Sweeney may set the terms.

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