Chris Collins Dilemma in Western NY is Deja Vu for NJ

Since election laws severely limit the ability to replace candidates close to Election Day, Western New York Republicans are searching for a way to replace three-term Congressman Chris Collins, who has suddenly dropped out of the 2018 campaign due to his indictment on insider trading charges.

Although the circumstances are not identical, the situation reminds me of the way New Jersey Democrats managed to add Frank Lautenberg to the ballot for U.S. Senate in 2002 after Sen. Robert Torricelli dropped out of the race on Sept. 30 amid formal Senate ethics charges that that threatened to derail his re-election chances.

New Jersey Republicans challenged the late addition, but the state Supreme Court rejected their argument. Lautenberg remained on the ballot and won the election by 10 percentage points.

Although Republicans were unsuccessful at the ballot box, they did produce a memorable campaign ad, cleverly poking fun at Lautenberg‘s late entry into the race.

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