Christie Appoints State Attorney General to Senate #NJSEN

Christie appointed New Jersey's attorney general to the vacant Senate seat. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appointed state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa to the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg's now vacant Senate seat.

At a Thursday afternoon news conference to announce the pick, Christie said Chiesa will not be a candidate in the special election to fill the remainder of Lautenberg's term. Chiesa will serve for the next four months until a candidate is elected in October.

"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 Oct. 16," 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."

When asked, Chiesa confirmed that he is a registered Republican and, on immigration, said: "The first thing we have to do is make sure our borders are secure."

Chiesa has served as attorney general, an appointed position, since Jan. 10, 2012. For the previous two years he was Christie’s chief counsel and served on Christie’s transition team. He has worked at Wolf & Samson law firm and served for seven years in the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Chiesa is a Notre Dame graduate with a law degree from Catholic University.