January 05, 2017
Sen. Pat Toomey will continue to sweeten deals in the U.S. Senate, his office announced Thursday.
Pennsylvania's Republican senator has been assigned again to the coveted "Candy Desk," a tradition that dates back to 1965. The seat's holder is responsible for providing sweet treats for fellow senators.
Toomey, who assumed the role in 2015, assured his constituents that the desk would be filled with chocolate made in the Keystone State.
“My fellow Senators are going to need Pennsylvania’s finest chocolates to make it through the many, many votes in the coming weeks," Toomey said. "I hope they will set partisanship aside and join me at my desk for some candy."
The seat is located closest to the chamber's most heavily-used entrance in the back row on the Republican side.
Sen. George Murphy of California started the tradition by stocking his desk with candy in 1965. Each GOP senator who occupied the desk since has continued the practice.
Toomey is the second Pennsylvania senator to hold the seat. Sen. Rick Santorum served in the role from 1997 to 2007 and is the longest-running occupant in "Candy Desk" history.
“Our state is home to the best confectioners in the world. Hershey’s, of course, is headquartered in Central Pennsylvania," Toomey said. "Mars makes Three Musketeers in Elizabethtown. Asher’s is based in Kulpsville. Just Born creates Peeps in Bethlehem. One senior Republican senator, who shall remain nameless, makes a special request for Gertrude Hawk candies from Dunmore. And there are so many more. I am proud to spotlight the best of Pennsylvania in the Candy Desk.”
Here's a list of senators who have held the Candy Desk and when they assumed the role:
2015: Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania
2011: Mark Kirk, Illinois
2009: George LeMieux and Mel Martinez, both from Florida
2007: George Voinovich, Ohio
2007: Craig Thomas, Wyoming
1997: Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania
1995: Bob Bennett, Utah
1993: Jim Jeffords, Vermont
1989: Slade Gorton, Washington
1987: John McCain, Arizona
1985: Slade Gorton, Washington
1983: Steve Symms, Idaho
1981: Roger Jepsen, Iowa
1979: David Durenburger, Minnesota
1977: Richard Lugar, Indiana
1971: Paul Fannin, Arizona
1965: George Murphy, California