New Jersey’s Critz story

The last staffer to succeed his boss as a Congressman from New Jersey was Gordon Canfield, a Republican who spent seventeen years as the top aide to U.S. Rep. George Segar.  Segar had been the Mayor of Passaic for eight years before winning an open House seat in 1920.  Canfield, then 22-years-old, was a reporter working for a Passaic County daily newspaper; after the election, he took a job as Canfield’s secretary – that post is now known as Chief of Staff.  Canfield worked for Segar until the congressman died in office in 1940.  Segar had announced his retirement shortly before his death and endorsed Canfield as his successor.  Canfield won the seat 59%-41% over Democrat Addison Rosencrans.

Canfield spent twenty years in Congress and only had one close call – he won re-election by just 148 votes in 1948 against Democrat Charles Joelson.  When he retired in 1960, he helped his own aide, Walter Kennedy, secure the backing of the Passaic County Republican organization to run for the eighth district seat.  Kennedy had spent twelve years on Canfield’s staff.  The Democrats nominated Joelson, who had become the Paterson City Attorney and Deputy state Attorney General.  Joelson beat Kennedy 52%-44% and went on to serve until his appointment as a Superior Court Judge in 1969.  Bob Roe took his seat.

After the ’60 election, Kennedy went back to Washington as secretary to U.S. Rep. Bradford Morse, a Massachusetts Republican and a former Hill staffer.  House Minority Leader (and ex-Speaker) Joseph Martin named him to serve as House Minority Clerk in 1965, and Minority Leader John Rhodes appointed him Minority Sergeant-At-Arms in 1975.  He held that post until his retirement in 1993, after 44 years as a congressional aide.

Rob Andrews had served as an aide to then-U.S. Rep. Jim Florio before his election to the Camden County Board of Freeholders; he went to Congress after Florio was elected governor.

New Jersey’s Critz story