Gov. Christie Appoints NJ Attorney General to Senate Seat

Jeffrey S. Chiesa, a Republican, will not run in the special election.

The U.S. Senate will add another Republican to its ranks--at least until New Jersey voters have their say in October.

During a press conference in Trenton on Thursday, Gov. Chris Christie announced he would appoint New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa to the seat left vacant by Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s death.

Chiesa, a Bound Brook native, will not run in the Oct. 16 special election. He will assume office on Monday, cutting the Democratic majority in the Senate to 52-46.

“In the last few days, it became clear that Chiesa was the best person for the job,” Christie said. 

Christie said the two met Monday night, along with Chiesa’s wife Jenny, to discuss the possibility. Chiesa, a self-described conservative Republican, accepted Christie's offering of the Senate appointment with a text message saying, “I’m in.” 

Before becoming the state's attorney general in January 2012, Chiesa was employed as an attorney in private practice. From 2002 to 2009, he worked New Jersey U.S. Attorney's Office, where he led the prosecution of former state Sen. John Lynch. Chiesa and his wife have two children.

With members of Congress wrangling with an immigration bill in recent days, Chiesa voiced his support for border security measures during the press conference announcing his appointment.

“The first thing we need to do is make sure borders are secure,” Chiesa said. “That’s because of the background I come from. Beyond that, these issues are all new to me. I’m going to have to get down there and meet with my colleagues. I’m going to make decisions that are best for the people of the State of New Jersey.”

Christie and Chiesa have not discussed specific pieces of legislation.

"If Jeff calls me at home and asks me what to do on a specific piece of legislation, I’m going to hang up,” Christie said. “I have enough to do here.”

The governor defended his call for a special election, faulting the state legislature for the conflicting statutory guidance on filling vacancies.

"There was no perfect decision here. It was my decision that the people should have the right to make that choice. Everyone will debate the political effects until we know what they are, and then everyone will be a genius in hindsight," Christie said.

Candidates have until Monday at 4 p.m. to file paperwork to run in the Aug. 13 special election primary. On Thursday, Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) announced his intent to seek the Democratic nomination. Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) are considered likely candidates, according to NJ Spotlight. Among high-profile Republicans, only conservative activist Steve Lonegan has announced plans to run.

TheGreatHoax June 07, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Lonegan info cont'd The deadline for the petitions is short. Mr. Lonegan's campaign will explain where and how you can drop off petition list sometime Sunday evening. Also they will have Notaries available for signature gatherers at the pick up points. Please keep in mind, anyone signing the petition must be registered to vote as either a Republican or Unaffiliated and the address on the petition must be in the district where you vote. 2 attachments — Download all attachments 2013-0604-special-primary-election-us-senator-petition rev 2.pdf 1347K View Download Lonegan for Senate.pdf 63K View Download
delgado June 08, 2013 at 12:58 AM
This is the worst pick,,, its terrilbe NJ now has a US Senator whos Washington DC nickname is Senator "Selective Prosecution" becasue of the illegal selective prosecution he did to get into this position.
Patriot June 10, 2013 at 07:12 PM
RINO BLOWHARD. Christie is interested in Christie. A clone of Obama. Beware. Do not ever believe that he is considering what is best for New Jersey. He is only interested in selling out N.J. for his own gain. People Get Smart, Wise Up to this Charlatan.
Richard Magee June 14, 2013 at 02:58 PM
If he is a Conservative why did he vote for the AMNESTY BIll?
Richard Magee June 14, 2013 at 03:17 PM
DemocRATS stand for Open Borders, Excessively Spending your Tax Dollars freely, Raising Taxes, Giving Illegal Alians Amnesty and Social Security payments that they never earned. Creating dependancy on Government and the DNC. The term Progrssive is a Communist Party USA chosen term to soften the Sound of "Communist". Thus, the Progressive Socialist Democratic Party. There are 80 Card carrying Communists, serving in both Houses in D.C. now. NJ has had a secret Cell of Communists since the fifties. The HCUA exposed them. The 'original FBI' knew of them. Hawaii had another large cell of which Obama's grandparents were members. I write not in jest but in serious knowledge of same. Frank marshall a know Communist is rumored to be Obama's real father. He even wrote a book detailing his secuction of the 16 yr old white grandaughter of his good friends in HA.who had him as a house guest. Read and research this yourselves! ~Rick Magee, FL Det.,ret. "Molom Labe"


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