Robert Torricelli

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Robert Guy Torricelli (born August 27, 1951), nicknamed "the Torch," is an American politician from the U.S. state of New Jersey. Torricelli, a Democrat, served 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected to the U.S. Senate. He served a single term in the Senate and decided not to run for reelection after being implicated in a bribery and campaign finance scandal involving David Chang, an imprisoned Chinese businessman.


Education and Personal life

Torricelli attended Rutgers University both for undergraduate and law school, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 and his law degree in 1977. He was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1978 and later attended Harvard University, earning a master's degree in public administration in 1980.

Torricelli was married to Susan Holloway, with whom he has three children and is now divorced. He reportedly has since dated former Mick Jagger wife Bianca Jagger, conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell.

Early Political Career

Torricelli was an assistant to the Governor Brendan Byrne from 1975 to 1977. In 1978 he served on the Staff of Vice President Walter Mondale, and managed the Carter-Mondale campaign in the Illinois primary, at the age of 28. At the Democratic National Convention in 1980, he served the Carter-Mondale campaign on the Rules Committee. In 1982, Torricelli leveraged his political contacts into a run for US Congress, defeating incumbent Republican Harold Hollenbeck 53% to 46%.

Torricelli served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1996 for the New Jersey 9th District, and then as a U.S. Senator from 1997 to 2003.

Senate Career

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, defeating Republican Congressman Dick Zimmer to obtain the seat vacated by the retirement of Democrat Senator Bill Bradley.

In 2000 he headed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, presiding over one of their most successful years in some time (they picked up 5 seats).

In the middle of an increasingly competitive race against Republican Doug Forrester, Torricelli decided not to run for reelection after being implicated in a bribery scandal with a businessman connected to China named David Chang. Torricelli stated that despite his leaving public office in a different way than he planned, he is proud of his service. Late in the election season in 2002, the New Jersey Supreme Court allowed the Democratic Party to replace Torricelli's name on the ballot with that of former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

In 2003 Torricelli raised money for Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry and also donated money ( to a 527 group that ran extremely controversial ads juxtaposing candidate Howard Dean with Osama bin Laden.

External links

Preceded by:
Bill Bradley
U.S. Senator from New Jersey
Succeeded by:
Frank Lautenberg
Preceded by:
Harold Hollenbeck, (R)
US Representative, New Jersey 9th District
Succeeded by:
Steve Rothman (D)

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