|The Candy Desk. Photo from Senate.gov.|
Sen. Pat Toomey has landed himself in a sweet spot.
|Sen. Pat Toomey|
The Republican senator from Pennsylvania recently accepted a nomination to the Senate's "Candy Desk" and the accompanying responsibility to keep the desk stocked. Located in the back row of the Republican side, the Candy Desk offers sweets for Senators on both sides of the aisle.
“The Candy Desk duty is Mounds of responsibility,” Toomey says. “I campaigned for this assignment on the platform of life, liberty, and the pursuit of Peeps and hope Pennsylvania’s treats will sweeten the bitter partisan atmosphere."
The Candy Desk has been a tradition since 1965, when Sen. George Murphy of California first stocked it with treats. Every senator at the desk since then has upheld tradition, offering a sweet compromise in the face of tough debate.
"As we all know, candy brings happiness, joy and perhaps a little inclination toward compromise on an otherwise tough day and that is why the Candy Desk holds a coveted location on the floor of the U.S. Senate," says John H. Downs Jr., president and ceo, NCA.
That a Pennsylvania senator should have the desk is a treat, says Downs, because the "sweet state" is home to more than 200 confectionery companies, which produce more than $5 billion dollars of revenue annually.
Toomey plans to stock the Candy Desk with Pennsylvania’s finest chocolate and deliciousness, ensuring a surplus of sweets. Pennsylvania is home to Hershey's, Mars and Just Born's Peeps, Warrell, Asher’s, Josh Early Chocolates and many others.
A list of previous Candy Desk occupants includes:
2011: Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)
2009: George LeMieux (R-Fl.)
Mel Martinez (R-Fl.) (Resigned September 2009)
2007: George Voinovich (R-Ohio)
2007: Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) (Died in June 2007)
1997: Rick Santorum (R-Pa.)
1995: Bob Bennett (R-Utah)
1993: Jim Jeffords (R-Vt.)
1989: Slade Gorton (R-Wash.)
1987: John McCain (R-Ariz.)
1985: Slade Gorton (R-Wash.)
1983: Steve Symms (R-Idaho)
1981: Roger Jepsen (R-Iowa)
1979: David Durenburger (R-Minn.)
1977: Richard Lugar (R-Ind.)
1971: Paul Fannin (R-Ariz.)
1965: George Murphy (R-Calif.)