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Leonard Lance

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 7th district
Assumed office 
January 3, 2009
Preceded by Mike Ferguson

Born June 25, 1952
Easton, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Heidi A. Rohrbach
Residence Clinton Township, New Jersey[1]
Alma mater Lehigh University (Bachelor's Degree)
Vanderbilt University (Law Degree)
Princeton University (Master's Degree)
Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Leonard Lance (born June 25, 1952) is an American Republican Party politician and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New Jersey's 7th District where he succeeded the incumbent Mike Ferguson. Lance served as a member of the New Jersey Senate beginning in 2002, where he represented the 23rd Legislative District. In 2008, Lance defeated Democrat Linda Stender in a long-fought battle for the historically Republican congressional district.


Early life

Leonard Lance was born on June 25, 1952, into a political family. His father, Wesley L. Lance was a State Senator.[2] His great-uncle, H. Kiefer Lance, was also in New Jersey politics.

After attending North Hunterdon High School in Annandale, New Jersey, Lance received a B.A. from Lehigh University, a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.[3]

Political career

Leonard Lance served as the law clerk to the Warren County Court in 1977 and 1978. He was assistant counsel for county and municipal matters to Governor of New Jersey Thomas Kean from 1983 to 1990. He was a member of the New Jersey Council on the Humanities during the Whitman Administration by appointment of the Governor.

Before his election to the New Jersey State Senate in 2002, Lance served in the New Jersey General Assembly for 11 years (1991-2002), where he served as the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee from 2000 to 2002 and the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, when it handled the state budget, from 1996 to 2000. While Appropriations Committee Chairman, the committee oversaw state finances, taxation and spending on individual legislation, while budget issues were passed to a separate Budget Committee. He held the position of Minority Leader of the Senate from 2004 to 2008.[3]

Lance serves on the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, the Legislative Services Commission and the Budget and Appropriations Committee.[3] He is currently the Republican Budget Officer. As Republican Budget Officer, Lance served as the Ranking Minority Member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, along with serving as the Republican Senate Caucus' chief point person on budget and finance issues and in budget negotiations.

He is currently a trustee of the Newark Museum, of Centenary College in Hackettstown and of McCarter Theatre in Princeton.

2008 Congressional campaign

On June 3, 2008, Lance won the Republican primary to replace retiring Congressman Mike Ferguson in the New Jersey's 7th congressional district with 40% of the vote, defeating six opponents: Kate Whitman, the daughter of former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, former Summit Common Council President P. Kelly Hatfield, Scotch Plains Mayor Martin Marks, veteran Tom Roughneen, activist Darren Young, and professor A.D. Amir.[4] The primary left his campaign's funds depleted, leading him to hold several fundraisers, including one with President George W. Bush. Touring his district, he ran on a platform of fiscal conservatism, moderate social values, and environmentalism. He vowed to be "an independent voice" in Congress if elected.

His Democratic opponent was Linda Stender, a New Jersey Assemblywoman who unsuccessfully challenged Republican incumbent Ferguson in 2006.

During the campaign, Lance took strong positions against the Alternative Minimum Tax, the estate tax, Governor Jon Corzine's controversial toll hike plan, and the partisan nature of the United States Congress. He came under fire from Stender's campaign for his 2006 vote in the New Jersey Senate against a bill which prevented pharmacists from refusing to dispense medication such as birth control pills due to religious concerns. Lance was one of only a few Senators to vote against the bill. However, both Lance and Stender are pro-choice. Lance was firmly opposed to negotiations with Iran on the presidential level, saying that he only favors holding such talks on a ministerial level. He also made energy independence one of his signature issues, along with fiscal accountability and debt reduction. On foreign policy, both candidates supported withdrawal from Iraq, a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and increased attention to the genocide in Darfur.

Lance and Stender debated each other twice during the campaign. In September, they met in Scotch Plains for a debate hosted at the Jewish Community Campus of Central New Jersey. It was moderated by Westfield Rabbi Douglas Segal. The candidates met in October in Edison for a second debate, which was televised on News 12 New Jersey and moderated by Walt Kane.

On October 21, The Star-Ledger editorial board endorsed Lance in the 2008 election. On October 25, The New York Times followed suit. Eight other newspapers also endorsed Lance over Stender.

On Election Day, November 4, 2008, Lance picked up the vacant seat, defeating Linda Stender.[5] Results of the election were Lance 142,004 51% to Stender 116,171 41%.


Congressional service

Lance has voted with his party much of the time, but has broken with it relatively often. For example, although he joined his party in opposing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, and 2009 "war supplemental", he broke with it in voting for the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

In June 2009 Lance was one of only eight Republicans in the House of Representatives to break with their party and vote for the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Lance had campaigned as a strong advocate for environmental protection and reduction of American dependence on foreign oil. In supporting the bill, Lance cited the bill's economic benefits for New Jersey, the fact that it would not enlarge the national debt, estimates by the Energy Information Administration and Congressional Budget Office suggesting that costs to consumers would be minimal, and its goal of reducing American dependence on foreign oil.[6]

Committee assignments


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mike Ferguson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 7th congressional district

2009 – present
New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
William Schluter
New Jersey State Assemblyman - District 23
January 1991 - January 2002
Succeeded by
Michael J. Doherty
New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
William Schluter
New Jersey State Senator - District 23
January 2002 - January 2009
Succeeded by
Marcia A. Karrow
Political offices
Preceded by
Office Vacant During Two Year Equally Divided Senate
Minority Leader of the New Jersey Senate
January 13 2004 - January 8, 2008
Succeeded by
Thomas Kean Jr.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Robert Littell
Republican Budget Officer of the New Jersey Senate
January 8, 2008 - January 3, 2009
Succeeded by
Anthony Bucco


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