Jeff Chiesa became the newest member of the U.S. Senate Monday afternoon as he replaced the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).
Vice President Biden administered the oath of office to Chiesa with eight of his new colleagues watching from the Senate floor and a sizable delegation of family and friends up above in the Senate gallery. As is the tradition, Chiesa was escorted to the Senate dais for the swearing-in by his homestate colleague, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)
Chiesa, 47, becomes the first Republican to represent the Garden State in the Senate since 1982, when Nicholas Brady was appointed to replace Sen. Harrison Williams (D-N.J.), who resigned amid scandal.
Lautenberg, 89, died last Monday and was buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.
Chiesa is the former New Jersey attorney general and a close aide to Republican Gov. Chris Christie. He has no plans to run in a special election to replace Lautenberg, meaning he will serve only until New Jersey voters elect a new senator in October.
Candidates to succeed Lautenberg must file papers by the end of the day Monday. Among others, Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Rush Holt (D-N.J.) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) planned to file papers Monday, along with Republican Steve Lonegan, the former head of the New Jersey chapter of the Koch brothers-affiliated Americans for Prosperity.
This post has been updated.
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