Washington (Reuters reports)--Democrat Robert Menendez was sworn in as senator for New Jersey Wednesday, taking over the term of Jon Corzine, who was sworn in as governor this week.
Menendez, a 52-year-old seven-term congressman, faces a Senate election in less than 10 months, with possible primary challenges in the heavily Democratic state and then a possible challenge in the November election from Republican state Sen. Tom Kean, son of a popular former governor.
Corzine tapped Menendez to take over his Senate seat, skirting a special election. Democrat Frank Lautenberg holds New Jersey's other Senate seat.
Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants, was the first New Jersey Latino in the state legislature and in Congress. He represented the state's 13th district and was the chairman of the House Democratic caucus.