Charles Sandman

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Charles William Sandman, Jr.

United States Representative from
New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District
In office
January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1975
Preceded by Thomas C. McGrath, Jr.
Succeeded by William John Hughes

New Jersey State Senator
for Cape May County
In office
Preceded by Anthony J. Cafiero
Succeeded by Seat eliminated by redistricting

Born October 23, 1921
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died August 26, 1985 (aged 63)
Middle Township, New Jersey
Resting place Cold Spring Presbyterian Cemetery in Cold Spring, New Jersey
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marion L. Cooney Sandman
Children Carol, William, Marion, Robert, Charles, and Richard
Alma mater Temple University (Philadelphia)

Rutgers University Law School (Rutgers, New Jersey)

Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army Air Forces
Battles/wars World War II

Prisoner of war in Germany

Charles William Sandman, Jr. (October 23, 1921 – August 26, 1985)[1] was a Republican attorney and politician who represented Cape May County in the New Jersey Senate from 1954 to 1966 and District 2 in the southern portion of his state in the United States House of Representatives for four terms from 1967 to 1975.

Sandman (pronounced Sand Man) ran for the Republican nomination for Governor of New Jersey three times. Because New Jersey state elections are held in off years, he could run without forfeiting his seat in the U.S. House.. In 1965, he lost to state Senator Wayne Dumont, Jr. (1914–1992). In 1969, Sandman lost again, this time to U.S. Representative William Thomas Cahill (1912–1996). In the spring of 1973, he finally received his party's nomination by defeating incumbent Governor Cahill. Then he was handily defeated in the general election by the Democrat Brendan Thomas Byrne (1924–2018), who served the first of two terms from 1974 to 1982.


Sandman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Charles Sandman, Sr. (1897–1956), and Rose D. Sandman (1904–1983).[2] He graduated from Cape May High School, attained a bachelor's degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, and a law degree from Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey.[3]

He married the former Marion L. Cooney (born 1924)[4] of Philadelphia, and the couple had six children, Carol, William R. "Bill" Sandman (1950–2017), Marion, along with his three other sons, Robert S. Sandman, Charles W. Sandman, III, and Richard E. Sandman who followed in their father's legal footsteps and established a law practice in Cape May Court House, New Jersey.


Sandman served in the United States Army Air Forces as a navigator during World War II, and spent seven months as a prisoner of war in Germany after being shot down.[5]

Before serving in Congress, Sandman was elected to three four-year terms in the state Senate, in 1955, 1959, and 1963. He held the post of New Jersey Senate Majority Leader in 1964 and 1965. In 1966, he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives while still holding his state Senate seat, which he resigned upon winning the federal office. He was a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1966. In 1956, 1960, 1964, and 1968, Sandman was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions.[6]

Sandman voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act.[7]

In 1973, Sandman ran for governor as a conservative and unseated the Moderate Republican incumbent William Cahill in the primary election in a victory which The New York Times said "shocked party leaders."[8] He then lost the general election by a wide margin to Brendan Byrne, following the pattern where New Jersey would often elect Moderate Republicans to statewide office but consistently reject more conservative Republicans and preferred Democrats in the United States Senate.

Sandman served on the House Judiciary Committee, when it considered articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon. He was the strongest defender of Nixon in the hearings.[9] Sandman called for the hearing of the specifics of each charge against the President. After the release of the "smoking gun" transcript, however, Sandman announced he would vote to impeach Nixon when the articles came before the full House (as did every Republican who opposed impeachment in committee). He called the disclosure "devastating–impeachable."[10]

In the 1974 congressional elections, which followed the resignation of President Nixon before he could be impeached, the Republicans faced many losses because of the Watergate scandal even though the individual House members had nothing to do with Watergate. Despite Sandman's change of heart on impeachment, his reputation in the televised hearings prevented his House reelection. He was soundly defeated by Democrat William John Hughes (1932–2019) in an election that Sandman described as "not a Republican year."[11] In 1975, after he left Congress, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, the former governor of New York, invited Sandman to join the Gerald Ford administration in an ambassadorship of his choice, but Sandman declined and instead accepted appointment to the Superior Court of New Jersey from Moderate Republican Governor Thomas Howard "Tom" Kean (born 1935).


Sandman died in Cape May Court House, but had been residing in the Erma section of Lower Township, New Jersey,[5] and though a Roman Catholic was interred in Cold Spring Presbyterian Cemetery, in Cold Spring, New Jersey.[6] In 1986, the Lower Township School District renamed the Lower Township Consolidated School to the Charles W. Sandman Consolidated School.[12]


  1. Charles W. “Charlie” Sandman Jr. (1921-1985) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed November 12, 2021.
  2. Charles W Sandman Sr. (1897-1956) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed November 12, 2021.
  3. "Sandman, Charles William, Jr., (1921 - 1985)" Sandman, Charles William, Jr.. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, accessdate=November 12, 2021.
  4. Marion Sandman (L), 97 - Cape May, NJ Public Reputation Profile at™, accessed November 12, 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kerr, Peter (August 27, 1985). EX-REP. CHARLES SANDMAN. NIXON SUPPORTER, DIES - The New York Times (, accessed November 12, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Sandey to Sanfilippo, accessed November 12, 2021.
  8. Sullivan, Ronald (June 6, 1973). SANDMAN DEFEATS CAHILL IN NEW JERSEY'S PRIMARY; DEMOCRATS SELECT BYRNE - The New York Times (, accessed November 12, 2021.
  9. Michael Barone and Grant Ujifusa, The Almanac of American Politics in The National Journal, 1987, p. 740.
  10. AllPolitics - Back in TIME for August 19, 1974 (, accessed November 12, 2021.
  11. Narvaez, Alfonso A. (November 7, 1974). Not a Republican Year,’ Sandman Says - The New York Times (, accessed November 12, 2021.
  12. Fred Maher, "School To Honor Charles Sandman," The Press of Atlantic City, February 22, 1986.