Jessica Gould covers politics and public finance for WNYC.
Meet the Newest Senator from NJ
Thursday, June 06, 2013
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's pick to fill the seat vacated by Senator Frank Lautenberg isn't a household name. But Attorney General Jeff Chiesa and the governor have had a friendship that spans decades.
Jeff Chiesa is a New Jersey native and self-described conservative Republican.
He and Christie have know each other for more than 20 years, since they were young lawyers at the same law firm. Chiesa then followed Christie to the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2002, and led the governor's transition team in 2009.
Chiesa most recently made headlines when his office said the NYPD did not violate state laws while conducting surveillance of Muslim groups in New Jersey. The decision angered many Muslim leaders.
Chiesa will be sworn in on Monday, when the Senate votes on immigration. He has not specified his position, saying only that when it comes to immigration reform, his first concern is border security.
Chiesa will hold the seat temporarily before voters elect a new senator in a special election on October 16.
To listen to deeper analysis of Christie's pick, click the audio above. To hear more about Chiesa's background, click the audio below.