Jessica M. Karmasek Dec. 3, 2013, 7:00pm

TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) -- Gov. Chris Christie has nominated his chief of staff, Kevin O'Dowd, as New Jersey's next attorney general.

O'Dowd has served as Christie's chief of staff since January 2012. He also served as the deputy chief counsel to Christie from January 2010 until he took over as chief of staff.

The state legislature will consider his nomination when it is back in session Jan. 14.

"I am really grateful that (O'Dowd) is willing to continue his government service and to serve as New Jersey's next attorney general," Christie said during a press conference Monday, adding that O'Dowd has served him "extraordinarily well" over the years.

Before joining the Christie administration, O'Dowd served as the chief of the Securities and Health Care Fraud Unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey.

He also served seven years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Before that, O'Dowd served as a deputy attorney general in the Department of Law and Public Safety and then as an assistant counsel in the Office of Counsel to the Governor.

O'Dowd earned his undergraduate degree from The Catholic University of America and his law degree from St. John's University School of Law.

Christie, a Republican, said he is "sure" state lawmakers -- the Senate, in particular -- will give "swift consideration and confirmation" to O'Dowd's nomination when they return next month.

John Hoffman, a former assistant U.S. attorney, has been filling the role of attorney general after Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa was selected by Christie to fill the late Frank Lautenberg's U.S. Senate seat.

Lautenberg, 89, died in June from complications related to viral pneumonia. A Democrat, he first served in the Senate from 1982 to 2001; after a brief retirement, he was re-elected and served from 2003 until his death.

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