With the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie can appoint Lautenberg's replacement. While a long shot, former Yankees and Mets pitcher Al Leiter has been mentioned for the job.
“Who wouldn’t be interested if the governor of your state for whatever reason of their due process thought [you were] worthy, in their opinion?” Leiter, currently an announcer both for the YES Network and the MLB Network, told ESPNNewYork.com. “So, yeah, I would be interested.”
Leiter, 47, has known Christie, a Mets fan, for a long time. Leiter, like Christie, is a Republican. He has campaigned for Christie in their home state. He was a member of Christie's transition team after the election and served on the New Jersey Sports, Gaming and Entertainment Committee. Leiter was also nominated by Christie and approved by the state Senate to be a member of the New Jersey Hall of Fame Commission.
During the last presidential election, through his connection to Christie, Leiter attended fundraisers for Mitt Romney.
The appointment by Christie is expected to become a big national issue because of the Jersey governor's presidential aspirations. Christie said on Tuesday that there will be a special election this year to allow voters to choose Lautenberg's long-term replacement.