Jeff Chiesa joins the U.S. Senate

June 10, 2013

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.)

A worker changes out the name of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) for incoming Sen. Jeff Chiesa (R-N.J.) Monday in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington. (Photo by NBC News's Frank Thorp, via Instagram)

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.

Follow Ed O'Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

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Who is Jeff Chiesa?

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.
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