In his continuing fight against the deficit – the candy deficit -- U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Sweetest Place on Earth) has accepted the weighty responsibility of stocking the Senate’s coveted “Candy Desk.”
According to the Secretary of the Senate, in every Congress since 1965, the Candy Desk has been located in the back row of the Republican side, on the aisle and adjacent to the Chamber's most heavily used entrance.
“The Candy Desk duty is Mounds of responsibility,” said Sen. Toomey. “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. I plan to stock the Candy Desk with Pennsylvania’s finest chocolate and deliciousness to ensure a surplus of sweets. We are home to the best confectioners in the world. Hershey’s, of course, is headquartered in Central Pennsylvania. Mars makes Three Musketeers in Elizabethtown. Just Born creates Peeps in Bethlehem. And we are proud of our smaller candy makers too including Asher’s in Kulpsville, Wilbur Chocolate in Lititz, Josh Early Chocolates in the Lehigh Valley, and many, many more.”
"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," remarked NCA President & CEO John H. Downs Jr. "That a senator from Pennsylvania should have the desk is a special treat since the 'sweet state' is home to some of the world's most iconic confectionery brands such as Hershey's, Mars, Just Born, and R.M. Palmer. More than 200 confectionery companies and 10,000 confectionery employees call every corner of Pennsylvania their home and produce more than $5 billion in total value shipments annually."
In 1965, Senator George Murphy of California originated the practice of keeping a supply of candy in his desk for his fellow senators. Each senator who has occupied the desk since has carried on the tradition of providing their colleagues with a sugar rush. Located on the Republican side of the chamber, the Candy Desk is for the enjoyment of Senators from both sides of the aisle.
A list of previous Candy Desk occupants is below.
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.)