Topic: U.S. Congress

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US Senate Candy Desk

U.S. Congress

The candy desk has been a tradition of the United States Senate since 1968, whereby a senator who sits at a particular desk near a busy entrance keeps a drawer full of candy for members of the body. The current occupant of the candy desk is Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey.

In 1965, California's George Murphy joined the Senate, and kept candy in his desk to offer his colleagues, and for himself, though eating is not allowed on the Senate floor. When he left the Senate after a six-year term, other Republican senators maintained the custom. The nascent tradition did not become publicly known until the mid-1980s, when Washington Senator Slade Gorton disclosed it in announcing that he would be sitting at the candy desk.

Senators who have maintained the candy desk tradition include John McCain, Harrison Schmitt, and Rick Santorum, who stocked it with confectionery from his home state of Pennsylvania, including from the Hershey Chocolate Company. After Santorum left the Senate in 2007, the candy desk was maintained by a number of senators for a short time each, before Pennsylvania Senator Toomey began his stay in 2015.

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