Republican US Senator Clifford Case of New Jersey survives a primary challenge from anti-tax conservative Jeffrey Bell.
In November, Senator Case is reelected over former New York Knicks basketball star Bill Bradley.
Bill Bradley defeats Rep. Jim Florio in the Democratic primary for Governor of New Jersey. He goes on to defeat former state Assembly Speaker Tom Kean by 9,000 votes and is elected Governor.
On March 8, Senator Case dies in Washington, DC. Governor Bill Bradley appoints 30 year old Essex County Executive Peter Shapiro to Case’s Senate seat.
Three days later, Senator Harrison Williams resigns before a Senate vote to expel him. Governor Bradley appoints Frank Lautenberg, winner of the Democratic primary earlier this month, to Williams’ Senate seat. Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick won the GOP primary.
On March 12, Jeffrey Bell announces that he will challenge Senator Shapiro in the special election scheduled for this November.
In November, Senator Peter Shapiro defeats Jeffrey Bell in the special election to complete the last two years of Clifford Case’s term. Frank Lautenberg defeats Millicent Fenwick.
Senator Peter Shapiro defeats his Republican opponent Mary Mochary to win a 6 year term although President Reagan carries New Jersey.
In a special election, 1981 Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Kean is elected to the New Jersey State Senate.
Governor Bill Bradley is reelected to his second term.
After the Thanksgiving break, Republican Congressman Jim Courter decides to challenge Senator Frank Lautenberg next November. Former Heisman trophy winner and West Point graduate Pete Dawkins moves to New Jersey and announces his candidacy for Courter’s Congressional seat.
Senator Frank Lautenberg is reelected over Jim Courter. Pete Dawkins is elected to Courter’s Congressional seat.
Congressman Jim Florio defeats state Assemblyman Chuck Hardwick and he is elected Governor of New Jersey.
Jim Florio is sworn in as Governor of New Jersey. Bill Bradley becomes President of Princeton University.
Senator Peter Shapiro criticizes Governor Florio for raising taxes. He will be reelected with 60% of the vote over his Republican opponent Christine Todd Whitman.
Capitalizing on Governor Florio’s unpopular tax increases, Republicans sweep the legislative elections in New Jersey and win control of the state Assembly and Senate. Tom Kean becomes State Senate Majority Leader.
On August 24, Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas selects Senator Peter Shapiro of New Jersey as his running mate.
Bill Clinton is sworn in as President on January 20. Peter Shapiro becomes the nation’s first Jewish Vice President. In New Jersey, Governor Florio appoints Bill Bradley to Shapiro’s Senate seat.
Thomas Kean defeats Governor Jim Florio for reelection.
The Republicans win control of the House and Senate. Although Senator Bill Bradley wins his seat in his own right, Frank Lautenberg is defeated for reelection by Christine Todd Whitman. Bradley will win a full six year term in 1996.
Newly elected Republicans in New Jersey’s Congressional delegation include Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2), Bill Martini (NJ-8) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11).
President Clinton is reelected. Paterson Mayor Bill Pascrell defeats incumbent Congressman Bill Martini. Senator Bill Bradley is reelected State Senator Dick Zimmer, author of Megan’s Law.
Running on a 3 percent unemployment rate in the state and creating over 200,000 new jobs, Governor Thomas Kean is reelected with a record 68 percent of the vote over State Assemblyman Alan Karcher. Exit polls showed him winning 60 percent of the black vote, 57 percent of the labor union vote, 75 percent of Jewish voters, 78 percent of independents and 44 percent of Democrats.
After winning the majority of primaries, Vice President Peter Shapiro clinches the Democratic Presidential nomination. He selects one of his primary opponents, Senator Albert Gore as his running mate.
In a close race, Peter Shapiro is elected the first Jewish President of the United States over Governor George W. Bush of Texas. The Shapiro-Gore ticket barely won the states of West Virginia and Tennessee, but it was enough to clinch the win (Florida would not be called for Bush until mid-December). In New Jersey, Jon Corzine defeats incumbent Senator Christine Todd Whitman.
On September 11, while preparing to read to a class of children at an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida, President Peter Shapiro is told that an airplane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Since he's been having discussions about possible terrorist hijackings of American airplanes, he believes this crash was no accident. He orders the scrambling of jets up and down the eastern seaboard. He goes into the classroom with orders to keep him posted. He is told that a second plane has hit the second tower. There is no question of an attack now. "Boys and girls," he tells the kids, "I'm sorry, but I've got to go. I can't tell you why, but you'll find out soon enough." The kids are confused, but not alarmed.
Governor Thomas Kean of New Jersey holds a press conference on the Jersey City waterfront, with the Statue of Liberty and the smoke from the rubble of the World Trade Center behind him. After telling of his contact with Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York City, and the Governors of the neighboring States (George Pataki of New York, Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania and Ruth Ann Minner of Delaware), he explains what emergency measures he has ordered, and announces, "The State of New Jersey will not yield to terrorists. Any terrorists who are in this State will be found, and they will be punished."
As Air Force One is taking off, Shapiro is briefed: Several terrorists were detained at Newark Airport in New Jersey and Dulles Airport in Virginia, planning to hijack planes. They did not say what the intended targets were. But since Logan Airport in Boston did not meet the same standards as the others, some terrorists got through there. Graham is warned that Air Force One could be a target, and should be diverted away from Washington. "This plane is landing at Andrews," Shapiro says of the Maryland Air Force base near the capital. "The American people are not going to see their President running around the country like he's afraid!" By the time he lands, Shapiro is told that both WTC towers have collapsed. It is not yet known how many have died, but the total will later be determined to be 2,749. Shapiro goes on television that night, and says, "The people who ordered these attacks will be identified, found, and punished."
Next day, President Shapiro visits the World Trade Center site and is accompanied by New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean, New York Governor George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. "This attack will be avenged," he says. "We're working on finding out who did it. And when we find out, we will retaliate. As your President, I must do no less." The crowd of rescue workers cheers him. Shapiro has not been an overwhelmingly popular President thus far, but this speech is almost a second inauguration for him.
In a speech to a joint session of Congress, President Shapiro announces that Federal Judge Michael Chertoff will be his Homeland Security Advisor. Congress will later pass legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security. Chertoff will be confirmed as the first Secretary of Homeland Security.
Two weeks after the start of military action in Afghanistan, the American flag flies over Kabul on October 22. The Taliban has been defeated. Mullah Muhammad Omar is in American custody. Two weeks later, American special operations forces with the help of British troops capture Osama bin Laden alive.
In November, State Senate Minority Leader Richard Codey defeats Republican former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler and is elected to succeed Tom Kean as Governor of New Jersey.
After being sworn into office, Governor Richard Codey appoints former FBI Director Louis Freeh as Homeland Security advisor of New Jersey. This position grants Freeh the necessary security clearances for the job.
On April 16, Osama bin Laden is convicted of 2,749 counts of conspiracy to commit murder, in federal court in New York, mere blocks from the site of the World Trade Center. He is sentenced to death. America cheers.
After the Labor Day weekend, Congressman Robert Torricelli announces he will not seek reelection and resigns as the Democratic nominee. He is replaced on the ballot by State Senator Steve Rothman who will go on to win the election this November.
Senator Bill Bradley is reelected over his opponent Doug Forrester. Democrats gain a seat in the New Jersey Congressional delegation when college professor Rush Holt Jr. (D) defeats Somerset County Freeholder Mike Pappas (R) in the race to succeed retiring Congressman Pete Dawkins.