Senate appointments

The last time a sitting United States Senator from New Jersey won election as Governor was in 1937, when Democrat A. Harry Moore defeated Rev. Lester Clee, a Republican State Senator from Essex County, by a 51%-48% margin. He resigned from the Senate on January 17, 1938; the following day he appointed a close friend, John Milton, a 56-year-old Jersey City attorney who, like Moore, was an ally of Frank Hague’s Hudson County Democratic machine. Milton was a caretaker who had agreed not to run in a 1938 special election for the remaining 26 months of Moore’s term. Instead, the Democrats nominated William Ely, a State Senator from Bergen County. Ely lost by a 53%-46% margin to Republican William Warren Barbour, who had lost his bid for re-election to a second term in the U.S. Senate two years earlier. The last time a New Jersey Governor appointed someone to the United States Senate was in 1982, when Democrat Harrison Williams resigned following his criminal conviction in the ABSCAM scandal. Republican Thomas Kean was in his first term as Governor and two Republicans who had backed him in his ’81 campaign, Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick and former Reagan speechwriter Jeffrey Bell, were already in the race. Kean mulled his options for a month and decided on a caretaker: Nicholas Brady, a millionaire investment banker and GOP fundraiser. Fenwick won the primary but lost the general election to Frank Lautenberg. Brady later served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. If Jon Corzine wins, the person whom he appoints to the United States Senate will be charged with voting on the confirmation of New Jerseyan Samuel Alito, Jr. as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The last time an appointed Senator voted on a Supreme Court nomination was in 1938, when Milton, on his sixth day in office, voted to confirm the nomination of Stanley Reed as an Associate Justice.

Senate appointments