It was only last week thatU.S. Sen Frank Lautenberg announced anotherhard-won victory, albeit a small one, for rail travel. Early thismorning, the scrappy fighter for a host of Democratic causes – andone that could possibly be considered nonpartisan, yet put him atodds with Gov. Chris Christie - died at 89 in aManhattan hospital.

Christie, who remembered Lautenberg as “a fighter,” will appointa successor, until a special election to replace the senator can beheld.

In late 2010, Christie and Lautenberg had their most fiery clashover the building of the ARC tunnel under the Hudson River, whichwould have doubled train capacity between New Jersey and Midtown.Lautenberg had spearheaded the fight to win $375 million in federalfunding and approvals for the project; Christie refused to commitstate money, effectively killing it.

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