New Jersey’s youngest Congressmen

New Jersey has only elected five Congressmen under the age of thirty: Fred Hartley, who at 26 was the youngest person to represent New Jersey in Congress; Republican Christopher Smith, now serving his 24th year in Congress, was 27-years-old when he ousted thirteen-term incumbent Frank Thompson, Jr. in 1980; Democrat James Hamill was 29 when he won a Hudson County congressional seat in 1906 (after fourteen years in Washington, he returned to New Jersey to assume a more powerful post: Jersey City Corporation Counsel); Democrat Eugene Leake, elected to Congress at age 29 in 1906, retired after just one term and began a successful business career — he was the Chairman of American Railway Express Company and a Director of Loews, Inc.; and William Newell, a 29-year-old surgeon from Monmouth County when he was elected to the House as a Whig in 1846, retired after two terms and served as Governor of New Jersey from 1857 to 1860. Newell returned to Congress as a Republican in 1864, lost re-election in 1866, and lost a bid for Governor in 1877.

New Jersey’s youngest Congressmen