Codey, if he runs, would be the first in 70 years

The last time someone has gone directly from the New Jersey State Senate to the United States Senate was in 1936, when William Howell Smathers, a freshman Democrat from Atlantic County, ousted incumbent William Warren Barbour by a 55%-44% margin — helped by the coattails of President Franklin Roosevelt’s 364,128 vote margin over Kansas Governor Alfred Landon. Smather’s nephew, George Smathers, an Atlantic City native, was elected to Congress as a Democrat from Florida in 1946 — part of a freshman class that included John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. He moved up to the Senate in 1950 when he defeated incumbent Claude Pepper in the Democratic primary and served until his retirement in 1968, when he left public office to pursue a lucrative lobbying career. Smathers, 92, is the second-oldest living former United States Senator.

Codey, if he runs, would be the first in 70 years