Five of the last seven people to serve as New Jersey Secretary of State have been women and the last four have been African American. Jane Burgio, a former Essex County Assemblywoman, became the first woman to hold the post when she was named by Thomas Kean after the 1981 election. After James Florio was elected Governor in 1989, he named Joan Haeberle, who was replaced in 1992 by Senate Majority Leader Daniel Dalton. Christine Todd Whitman named the first African American Secretary of State, Lonna Hooks, after he ’93 election; Hooks left in 1998 and was replaced in 1999 by Rev. DeForest “Buster” Soaries. Governor James E. McGreevey named Regena Thomas, a Democratic strategist, after he won election in 2001. Nina Mitchell Wells will become the fifth woman and fourth African American to hold the post after Jon Corzine becomes Governor later this month. Footnote: According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Wells has contributed over $40,000 to federal campaigns since 1986; her only contribution to a Republican came in 2002, when she gave $300 to Soaries, who challenged Congressman Rush Holt in the 12th district.