Senator Lautenberg dies at 89

Senator Frank LautenbergSenator Frank Lautenberg

Transportation advocate Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) died Monday morning as a result of viral pneumonia. He was 89 years old.

The senator had served in Congress for more than 30 years. He also served on the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, as well as four subcommittees within the transportation committee: Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security; Aviation Operations, Safety and Security; Communications, Technology and the Internet; and Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard.

Lautenberg was chairman of the Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security committee.

According to Senator Lautenberg’s website, Lautenberg was the last remaining World War II veteran serving in the U.S. Senate and held the record for the number of votes cast by a New Jersey Senator.

The Hill reported that the senator advocated for increased Amtrak funding and for safety regulations for long-distance commuter railways and aviation.

A separate report from The Hill states that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie can temporarily fill Lautenberg’s seat until a special election occurs for the person who will serve the remainder of Lautenberg’s term.

Christie is expected to appoint Lieutenant Govenor Kim Guadagno, Senator Tom Kean Jr. or Attorney Bill Palatucci for the temporary seat.