The suspense is over. This afternoon Gov. Chris Christie appointed State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa to the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Frank Lautenberg’s death four days ago. Chiesa will be a placeholder because he says he has no intention of running for the office in the special October election.

Governor Chris Christie announces his appointment of state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa as an interim U.S. senator (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

“The governor has given me some extraordinary chances to serve in public life, none of them that I expected, this probably least of all,” says Chiesa. “I’ll use my best judgment and the skill that I have to conduct myself in a way that I hope will make everybody in New Jersey proud.”

In 1991, Christie hired Chiesa to work in his law firm. The two have been together pretty much since then. Chiesa was an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Christie was his boss. He was also the governor’s chief counsel before becoming the Attorney General.

A conservative Republican is how Chiesa describes himself. He says he’s his own man and he’ll stay that way when he gets to Washington. Christie expects Chiesa’s first day in the U.S. Senate to be this Monday.