The Republican who Gov. Chris Christie appointed to serve as a placeholder for the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Frank Lautenberg has been missing votes.
A review of voting records by The Star-Ledger of Newark finds Sen. Jeff Chiesa missed 12 of 56, or 21 percent, of votes cast since taking office on June 10.
The member of the Senate Commerce Committee also missed several hearings, including one in which 22 bills were moved to the Senate floor.
Chiesa's office tells the newspaper he missed the committee hearings and two Senate voting sessions on July 29 and 30 because he was on a family vacation that had been scheduled before he took office. The vacation came days before the Senate adjourned for a six-week break.
"The senator had numerous commitments made well prior to the appointment," Ken Lundberg, a spokesman for Chiesa, told the paper. "Most of those fell away due to his Senate commitment, but it was his decision to honor two familial commitments including attending his son’s 8th grade graduation."