BRIDGEWATER - Gov. Chris Christie has announced a special election in October to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant following Frank Lautenberg's death Monday.

Christie says he intends to appoint someone to fill the seat until then but would not elaborate on who might be on that list.

The special primary would be held Aug. 13, with the special election on Oct. 16.

"The process to fill this U.S. Senate seat must allow people to have a choice to determine their nominees," Christie said. "I will not permit the insiders and a few party elites to determine who the nominee of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party will be."

That schedule also ensures the Republican governor's own re-election bid remains at the top of the ballot in New Jersey this November.

Several names of potential candidates have already come forward. Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced months ago that he intended to run for the seat in 2014. On Tuesday, News 12 New Jersey learned that Rep. Frank Pallone is taking steps to move forward with his bid for the position.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

For Gov. Christie's full press conference on the special election, click on News 12 Extra on Channel 612.