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Bob Franks

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 7th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Matthew J. Rinaldo
Succeeded by Mike Ferguson

Born September 21, 1951 (1951-09-21) (age 58)
Hackensack, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Republican

Robert Douglas Franks (born September 21, 1951 in Hackensack, New Jersey) is a Republican politician. He is a former U.S. Representative from New Jersey.

Franks grew up in Glen Rock, for a while in suburban Chicago, and then in Summit. He graduated from DePauw University in 1973 and from law school at Southern Methodist University in 1976. He had been involved in Republican politics while growing up, including the races of Senator Charles H. Percy. As a teenager, he returned to his home state. While in Summit, New Jersey, he became involved with the Young Republicans and the Kean for Assembly races. Franks helped to found the Union County Young Republicans Franks then served as an aide, consultant and campaign manager to several congressman including Jim Courter and Dean Gallo as well as Governor Thomas Kean. The primary profession of Franks, however, was that of a newspaper publisher.

In 1979, Franks was a candidate for Union County Freeholder when State Senator Peter J. McDonough resigned. Assemblyman Donald DiFrancesco ran for the Senate, and Franks switched to the Assembly race. He defeated Marie Kissebeth, the Berkley Heights mayor, at the Republican convention.

When he was redistricted into a Union/Essex district in 1981 and Essex Republicans demanded an Assembly seat, Franks survived and the Union Republicans dumped another incumbent, William Maguire. He was re-elected in 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989 and 1991.

While in the Assembly, he also served two terms as chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee, 1987-89 and 1990-92. In the second term, finding widespread voter discontent with Governor Jim Florio's tax hikes, he led the Republican Party to winning veto-proof majorities in both houses of the Legislature.

He was succeeded in the Assembly by Alan Augustine.[1]

In 1992 Franks was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives (succeeding Matt Rinaldo), and served four terms in the House from 1993 to 2001. While he was a congressman, he was a member of the Transportation Committee and involved with transportation issues. He was known as a budget "hawk" and was a strong supporter of the Contract with America, including voluntary terms limits.

In 2000, Franks gave up his House seat (true to his "term limits" vow) to become the Republican candidate to the open Senate seat from New Jersey. However, he was defeated by Democrat Jon Corzine.

In this race Franks was far outspent by Corzine, a former CEO, by 48 million dollars, yet still was the closest the Republicans have ever come to winning a New Jersey Senate seat since they last won one in 1972. He was defeated for the Republican nomination for New Jersey governor in 2001 by Bret Schundler.

Franks entered the 2001 governor's race reluctantly, following the withdrawal of former Governor Donald DiFrancesco, after having previous announced that he would not be a candidate. It is believed this late start cost him the primary as Schundler had a big head start in campaigning and fundraising.

Franks remains involved in New Jersey politics and is often mentioned as a potential candidate for high offices, but in the past Franks has discouraged such speculation. Many think that his next public office, if any, will be appointive.

Franks currently serves as President of the Health Care Institute of New Jersey. There was speculation he might run again for Congress when his successor, Mike Ferguson, announced in 2007 that he would not seek reelection in 2008. However, Franks then declined to declare, saying "Representing the people of Central New Jersey in the House of Representatives from 1993 to 2001 was one of the important and rewarding experiences of my life; however I find my work at the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey very fulfilling and I'm enjoying nights and weekends with my family... I have no desire to run for Congress next year."[2]

Electoral history

New Jersey's 7th congressional district: Results 1992–1998[3]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1992 Leonard Sendelsky 105,761 43% Bob Franks 132,174 53% Eugene J. Gillespie Independent 4,043 2% Bill Campbell No Nonsense Government 2,612 1% Spencer Layman Libertarian 1,964 1% *
1994 Karen Carroll 64,231 39% Bob Franks 98,814 60% James J. Cleary LaRouche Was Right 2,331 1% *
1996 Larry Lerner 97,285 42% Bob Franks 128,821 55% Dorothy DeLaura Independent 4,076 2% Nicholas Gentile Independent 1,693 1% Robert G. Robertson Independent 696 <1%
1998 Maryanne Connelly 65,776 44% Bob Franks 77,751 53% Richard C. Martin Independent 3,007 2% Darren Young Independent 1,508 1%
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1992, John L. Kucek running as an America First Populist received 844 votes and Kevin Michael Criss running under People's Congressional Preference received 684 votes. In 1994, Claire Greene received 481 votes. In 2000, Shawn Gianella received 386 votes and Mary T. Johnson received 283 votes.
2000 U.S. Senate Race — Republican Primary
Candidate Pct Candidate Pct Candidate Pct
Bob Franks 36% William Gormley 34% Others 30%
2000 United States Senate election, Senate Class 1, New Jersey[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jon S. Corzine 1,511,237 50
Republican Bob Franks 1,420,267 47
Independent Bruce Afran 32,841 1
Independent Pat DiNizio 19,312 1
Independent Emerson Ellett 7,241 <1%
Independent Dennis A. Breen 6,061 <1%
Independent J. M. Carter 5,657 <1%
Independent Lorraine LaNeve 3,836 <1%
Independent Gregory Pason 3,365 <1%
Independent Nancy Rosenstock 3,309 <1%
Independent George Gostigian 2,536 <1%
Majority 90,970 3
Democratic hold Swing


  1. ^ Leusner, Donna. "Alan Augustine, Scotch Plains mayor and assemblyman", The Star-Ledger, June 12, 2001.
  2. ^ Franks won't seek return to House | Politicker NJ
  3. ^ a b "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-01-10.  
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Matthew J. Rinaldo
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 7th congressional district

1993 – 2001
Succeeded by
Mike Ferguson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Frank B. Holman
Chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee
1987 – 1989
Succeeded by
Kathleen Donovan
Preceded by
Kathleen Donovan
Chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee
1990 – 1992
Succeeded by
Virginia Littell
Preceded by
Chuck Haytaian
Republican Nominee for the U.S. Senate (Class 1) from New Jersey
Succeeded by
Tom Kean, Jr.


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