New Jersey became the third state to join the Union on December 18, 1787. New Jersey’s first two senators, Jonathan Elmer and William Paterson, took office on March 4, 1789. The state’s longest-serving senators include Clifford Case (1955–1979) and Frank Lautenberg (1982–2001; 2003–2013). Among those who rose to leadership positions are Samuel Southard, who served as the Senate’s president pro tempore, and Robert Torricelli, Jon Corzine, and Robert Menendez, all of whom served as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Charles P. McIlvaine (son of Senator Joseph McIlvaine) served as Senate chaplain, 1821–1822.

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