Christie Picks NJ AG To Fill Senate Vacancy

Governor Chris Christie announces his appointment of state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa as an interim U.S. senator until  the special election at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Thursday, June 6, 2013. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Governor Chris Christie announces his appointment of state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa as an interim U.S. senator at the Statehouse in Trenton today. (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie has named New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to temporarily fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Frank Lautenberg’s death.

“I said on Monday that I was going to select the person who I thought would be the best person to represent New Jersey between now and October 16th, when all New Jerseyans gets an opportunity to elect the person to succeed the late Senator Frank Lautenberg,” Christie said. “During the last few days as I’ve gotten to deliberate on this decision, it became clear to me that Attorney General Chiesa would be the best person to represent the people of the state of New Jersey in the United States Senate.”

“The Governor has given me some extraordinary chances to serve in public life, none of them that I expected, this probably the least of all, but to have this chance to continue to serve in public life is a wonderful opportunity for anybody,” Chiesa said. “I’ll use my best judgment and the skill that I have to conduct myself in the way that will make – I hope that will make everybody in New Jersey proud, and to do everything I can to advance the interests of the people that live here as I’ve tried to do in all the positions that I’ve had the honor to have.”

Chiesa said that he will not seek re-election.

“As state Attorney General, Chiesa has served admirably and honorably to protect children and stop public corruption,” said state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union/Morris). “He is the right man for the job and will be a dignified voice in Washington to serve the people of New Jersey.”

“Mr. Chiesa is extremely well-qualified, a good friend and I look forward to working with him in Congress on the issues important to New Jersey and our Nation,” said U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7).

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