By Wally Edge | August 9th, 2006 - 4:05pm
| More

The third oldest living former United States Senator is a New Jerseyan, George Smathers, who turns 93 on November 13. Smathers was born in Atlantic City, the nephew of William Smathers, a Democrat who defeated U.S. Senator Hamilton Kean (the great-grandfather of Thomas Kean, Jr.) in 1936.

George Smathers grew up in Florida, served as a lawyer for the Truman administration, and at age 33 won election to the U.S. House of Representatives -- part of the 1946 freshman class that included John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon.

Smathers ran for the U.S. Senate in 1950, defeating incumbent Claude Pepper in an epic Democratic primary. Time Magazine reported that during that campaign, Smathers asked a rural Florida audience: "Are you aware that Claude Pepper is known all over Washington as a shameless extrovert? Not only that, but this man is reliably reported to practice nepotism with his sister-in-law, and he has a sister who was once a thespian in wicked New York Worst of all, it is an established fact that Mr. Pepper before his marriage habitually practiced celibacy." Smathers strongly denied making those comments and offered a $10,00 reward to anyone who could prove he said it. No one could. Smathers retired in 1968 to pursue a more lucrative career as a Washington lobbyist.

The oldest living former U.S. Senator is Clifford Hansen, a Republican from Wyoming, who turns 94 in October. Robert Stafford, a Vermont Republican who was born three months before Smathers. Smathers is the only surviving member of the U.S. Senate during Harry Truman's presidency.

The Back Room

Christie and his prez ambition: can he get beyond the investigation?

Continued attention drawn by a federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge fisaco "could make it hard to put events behind [Gov. Chris] Christie as quickly as might be preferred," but a Wall Street Journal report today examines the New Jersey leader's chances to repackage himself as presidential material.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 29th

  Faced with violent crime wave, Baraka, Fulop and Torres forge three-city partnership JERSEY CITY – And then there were three. That’s what it looked like, at least, when a late-arriving and widely beaming Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres in cream-colored suit joined political allies Jersey City Mayor Steve...

Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"And here was Christie — a tell-it-like-it-is, straight-talking, no-nonsense Jersey guy — telling about 60 members of the media what he really thought. 'Governor Branstad is a role model for me,' Christie gushed, referring to his 67-year-old counterpart from Iowa."

- The New York Times

Poll

Given another chance, who would you choose to run the county RIGHT NOW?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources