Wow there is blast from the criminal past. The Torch. Hey didn't he sleeze in another rat senator from NJ?
You are referring to Frank Lautenberg. During the 2002 Senatorial contest, against Doug Forrester, when the extent of The Torch's corruption came to light, he fell about 20 points behind in the polls. The dems replaced him with Lautenberg, a retired former senator who was still reasonably popular in this left-leaning state.
The real scandal was that the switch was made close to Election Day, on October 2, with 35 days to go. New Jersey law does not allow a candidate to be replaced after the date that is 51 days before the election. The switch was made nearly two weeks after the deadline, with the blessing of the (ultra-far-left) New Jersey Supreme Court, which makes the Florida Supremes look like Robert Bork. The rationale given by The Court was that, with Torricelli out, "The people of New Jersey would not have a real choice in the upcoming election without a democrat candidate." The specific deadline that was (and is) established law, was completely and conveniently ignored. It was one of the worst cases of legislating from the Bench in American history.