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.