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Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-Hamilton). (Photo: Chris Smith).

New Jersey seniority in the new Congress

Menendez, Booker, Pallone move up

By David Wildstein, December 24 2018 12:45 pm

Retirements, resignations and defeats of House and Senate veterans will mean a jump in seniority for many members of the New Jersey congressional delegation.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, first appointed to the Senate in 2006, started 2018 at 31st in seniority.  He will be 25th when the new Senate convenes next month.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker won a special election in 2013 and began the year 80th out of 100 in seniority.  He will move up to 68th in January.

Rep. Christopher Smith will remain 4th out of 435 in House seniority next year.  He was elected to Congress in 1980 at age 27 and was re-elected to his 20th term last month.

Hal Rogers, a Republican congressman from Kentucky, was also elected in 1980 and is one slot above Smith in seniority because House members elected in the same year are assigned seniority slots by alphabetical order.

Smith will be the lone Republican in the New Jersey delegation.

Rep. Frank Pallone, the incoming chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, moves up from 18th to 13th in House seniority.  He was elected in 1988 and moved ahead of several newly-elected congressmen that year because he also won a special election to fill the remaining two months of Rep. Jim Howard’s term.

Because freshmen House members elected in 2018 are assigned seniority slots based on alphabetical order or prior service, New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew will be 430th out of 435 House members.

Two senior members of the House, Rodney Frelinghuysen (#58) and Frank LoBiondo (#61), did not seek re-election in 2018.  Leonard Lance (#202) and Tom MacArthur (#408) were defeated in their bids for re-election.

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