Lightning Strike Rattles N.J. Senate President on Live TV

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We know New Jersey governor Chris Christie has veto power, but is it possible his powers stretch into the supernatural?

We kid, but it’s pretty eerie that as New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney was speaking about his beef with Governor Christie, a lightning bolt struck dangerously close to where he was standing.

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Sweeney was being interviewed on live television by a Philadelphia news station Thursday when an unexpected bolt of lightning came crashing down a mere 20 feet away from his office, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. The senate president, shocked (though not literally), ducked off-screen while he regained his composure. Sweeney was back on camera within a few seconds to carry on with the interview, but not before reporter Bruce Gordon could quip, “We’re going to see if we can not get you killed here.”

Sweeney was discussing Christie’s veto of the state budget, an issue of much contention for the two, considering Christie slashed nearly everything Democrats added to the legislation — cuts that totaled nearly $1 billion. Just last week, referring to Christie’s stranglehold over the budget, Sweeney called the governor a “bully and a punk.” Could this now be retribution? “He sent some lightning my way,” Sweeney joked. We wonder if Sweeney got the hint.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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