The tradition started in 1965 by California Senator George Murphy. He kept a ready supply of candy in his desk to give out to his colleagues and to satisfy his own sweet tooth. Murphy lost his seat in 1970, but the “Candy Desk” has remained in the back row on the Republican side since that time, close to a well-used entrance to the chamber and right next to the aisle.
Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey is the current keeper of the candy desk, and he took it over from Illinois Senator Mark Kirk who supplied it with Snickers, gummy bears, and Lemonheads, just to name a few. Toomey now stocks the desk with sweets from his home state such as Twizzlers, Three Musketeers, and of course, Hershey bars and Kisses. The sweets are shared to members on both sides of the aisle. There is no eating allowed on the Senate floor however, though I doubt that is carefully followed.