New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has appointed the state’s Attorney General Jeff Chiesa as interim U.S. Senator to fill the vacancy created by the passing of longtime Senator Frank Lautenberg on June 3.
Chiesa, a 1990 graduate of the Columbus School of Law, is expected to serve only until an Oct. 16 general election decides the state’s next senator. He has stated he is not planning on running to win the seat permanently.
The 47-year old Republican was sworn in as New Jersey’s attorney general in January 2012. Prior to the appointment, he served as chief counsel to Gov. Christie.
Chiesa grew up in Bound Brook, New Jersey, graduating from University of Notre Dame in 1987 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting.
In 1991, Chiesa joined the Cranford law firm of Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci (now known as Dughi & Hewit). There he met Chris Christie, who had joined the firm in 1987. In 2002, he followed Christie to the office of the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, where he led a number of the office's high-profile public corruption cases. Chiesa also served in various capacities with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and in 2009 become a partner in the firm of Wolf & Samson.
After Christie was elected governor of New Jersey, Chiesa headed his transition team. Christie then named Chiesa his chief counsel. He served in that position until being nominated by Christie to succeed Paula Dow as Attorney General.