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Chiesa to Tally 4th Shortest Senate Tenure in New Jersey History

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Chris Christie's appointee will serve just 129 days in the Senate - the fourth shortest stint among the 65 U.S. Senators to serve from New Jersey since statehood

jeffchiesa10.jpgOn Thursday afternoon Chris Christie announced he would appoint his long-time friend Jeff Chiesa to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Frank Lautenberg on Monday.

Chiesa - who served as New Jersey's Attorney General for the last 17 months - will leave his post when he is officially appointed on June 10th.

Although Governor Christie said he would welcome Chiesa to run in the October 16th special election to fill the remainder of Lautenberg's term (ending January 3, 2015), the state Attorney General said he was not interested in doing so.

As a result, Chiesa will follow the longest-serving New Jersey Senator of all time with the fourth shortest Senate tenure in state history.

Lautenberg served 28 years, 5 months, and 9 days (10,388 days) during his two periods representing the state in the Senate from 1982-2001 and 2003-2013.

That is nearly four and a half more years than the second-longest serving Senator in New Jersey history - Republican Clifford Case, who served four full terms from 1955-1979 (8,767 days).

Chiesa, meanwhile, will serve from June 10th through October 16th for a period of just 129 days.

The only Senators to serve fewer days in the history of the Garden State are:

· Democrat James Wall: 49 days (January 14 to March 3, 1863). Wall was elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Democrat John Thompson and then failed in his reelection bid. Wall was the former mayor of Burlington, New Jersey.

· Republican Richard Field: 55 days (November 21, 1862 to January 14, 1863). Field was appointed after the death of Thompson and was succeeded by the aforementioned Wall after his election to the seat. Field was a former state assemblyman and attorney general and later became a United States District Court judge.

· Federalist Franklin Davenport: 89 days (December 5, 1798 to March 3, 1799). Davenport was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Rutherfurd. Davenport had just been elected to the state's 5th Congressional District, and served one term from 1799-1801.

Three other New Jersey Senators served less than one year: Republican Nicholas Brady (252 days in 1982), Democrat John Milton (295 days in 1938), and Republican Dwight Morrow (307 days from 1930-1931).

The average length of service across the five-plus dozen Senators in state history is 2,503 days, or just shy of seven years.

Chiesa's statement that he would not run for another term is not the usual decision made by appointees since the direct election of U.S. Senators over the past century.

Of the 190 Senators appointed to their position since 1913, only 70 opted not to become candidates when their seat came up for election (either in a special election or otherwise), or 36.8 percent.

Another 23 appointed U.S. Senators ran for their seat but lost their party's nomination (19.2 percent) while 34 others lost in the subsequent general or special election (35.1 percent).

Only 63 of the 190 Senators ran for reelection, won their party's nomination, and won the subsequent election (33 percent).

Fifteen of New Jersey's 65 Senators in history were initially appointed to their position.

Length of service by New Jersey U.S. Senators Since Statehood

Senator
Party
Period
Years
Months
Days
# Days
James Wall
Democrat
1863
0
1
18
49
Richard Field
Republican
1862-1863
0
1
25
55
Franklin Davenport
Federalist
1798-1799
0
2
27
89
Jeff Chiesa
Republican
2013
0
4
7
129*
Nicholas Brady
Republican
1982
0
8
8
252
John Milton
Democrat
1938
0
9
22
295
Dwight Morrow
Republican
1930-1931
0
10
3
307
David Barid, Jr.
Republican
1929-1930
1
0
3
368
David Barid
Republican
1918-1919
1
0
9
374
Arthur Walsh
Democrat
1943-1944
1
0
12
378
William Paterson
Pro-Administration
1789-1790
1
8
10
620
Robert Stockton
Democrat
1851-1853
1
10
7
679
James Schureman
Federalist
1799-1801
1
11
13
715
Jonathan Elmer
Pro-Administration
1789-1791
2
0
0
730
Aaron Ogden
Federalist
1801-1803
2
0
4
734
Ephraim Bateman
Adams
1826-1829
2
2
4
796
Philemon Dickinson
Pro-Administration
1790-1793
2
3
9
832
Richard Stockton
Federalist
1796-1799
2
3
20
842
Joseph McIlvaine
Adams-Clay Republican
1823-1826
2
9
8
1,012
Arthur Moore
Democrat
1935-1938
3
0
15
1,111
Frederick Frelinghuysen
Pro-Administration
1793-1796
3
8
9
1,350
Aaron Kitchell
Jeffersonian-Republican
1805-1809
4
0
9
1,470
Alexander Cattell
Republican
1866-1871
4
5
13
1,627
William Hughes
Democrat
1913-1918
4
10
27
1,794
Jon Corzine
Democrat
2001-2006
5
0
15
1,841
John Dryden
Republican
1902-1907
5
1
4
1,860
William Smathers
Democrat
1937-1943
5
8
20
2,090
Hamilton Kean
Republican
1929-1935
5
10
0
2,132
James Wilson
Jeffersonian-Republican
1815-1821
5
10
5
2,138
Jonathan Dayton
Federalist
1799-1805
6
0
0
2,191
John Lambert
Jeffersonian-Republican
1809-1815
6
0
0
2,191
Theodore Frelinghuysen
Anti-Jacksonian
1829-1835
6
0
0
2,191
James Smith
Democrat
1893-1899
6
0
0
2,191
Joseph Frelinghuysen
Republican
1917-1923
6
0
0
2,191
Robert Hendrickson
Republican
1949-1955
6
0
0
2,191
Garret Wall
Jacksonian; Democrat
1835-1841
6
0
0
2,192
John Ten Eyck
Republican
1859-1865
6
0
0
2,192
Theodore Randolph
Democrat
1875-1881
6
0
0
2,192
Rufus Blodgett
Democrat
1887-1893
6
0
0
2,192
Frank Briggs
Republican
1907-1913
6
0
0
2,192
James Martine
Democrat
1911-1917
6
0
0
2,192
Edward Edwards
Democrat
1923-1929
6
0
0
2,192
Robert Torricelli
Democrat
1997-2003
6
0
0
2,192
Albert Hawkes
Republican
1943-1949
6
0
1
2,193
John Stockton
Democrat
1865-1866; 1869-1875
7
0
13
2,569
Bob Menendez
Democrat
2006-2013**
7
4
22
2,699
John Rutherfurd
Pro-Administration
1791-1798
7
9
2
2,834
Frederick T. Frelinghuysen
Republican
1866-1869; 1871-1877
8
3
20
3,035
William Dayton
Whig
1842-1851
8
8
2
3,167
John Thomson
Democrat
1853-1862
9
6
9
3,480
William Wright
Democrat
1853-1859; 1863-1866
9
7
29
3,530
William Barbour
Republican
1931-1937; 1939-1943
9
11
23
3,646
Walter Edge
Republican
1919-1929
10
8
18
3,916
Samuel Southard
Jeffersonian-Republican; Anti-Jacksonian; Whig
1821-1823; 1833-1842
11
4
29
4,169
John Kean
Republican
1899-1911
12
0
0
4,382
Jacob Miller
Whig
1841-1853
12
0
0
4,383
William Sewell
Republican
1881-1887; 1895-1901
12
0
9
4,681
John Condit
Jeffersonian-Republican
1803-1809; 1809-1817
13
5
14
4,916
Howard Smith
Republican
1944-1959
14
0
28
5,141
Mahlon Dickerson
Jeffersonian-Republican; Jacksonian
1817-1833
16
0
0
5,844
John McPherson
Democrat
1877-1895
18
0
0
6,574
Bill Bradley
Democrat
1979-1997
18
0
1
6,576
Harrison Williams
Democrat
1959-1982
23
2
9
8,469
Clifford Case
Republican
1955-1979
24
0
1
8,767
Frank Lautenberg
Democrat
1982-2001; 2003-2013
28
5
9
10,388
* Projected tally based on Chiesa's stated intention. ** Through June 7, 2013. Table compiled by Smart Politics with data from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

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