Lance 'Getting to Know' New Turf
Republican nominee for 7th district U.S. Congressman will be back and learning more about his new territory.
U.S. Congressman Leonard Lance, a Republican who now represents New Jersey's 7th district, hasn't won re-election, but he did on Tuesday secure the GOP nomination for a newly redrawn Congressional district that now includes Bernards Township, Long Hill Township and the Martinsville section of Bridgewater.
While not discounting Democratic candidate Upendra J. Chivukula, a state assemblyman from Franklin Township, Lance will be working closely on a transition to learning more about the new towns alongside U.S. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, (R-11th district), who now represents those areas, his chief of staff said on Wednesday.
Lance did well in the Somerset Hills area, gathering 63 percent of the primary vote in Bernards Township in the race against his Republican opponent David Larsen, and 70 percent of the Republican vote in Bernardsville, said Todd Mitchell, of Lance's Washington D.C. office. Mitchell noted that Bernardsville, and other Somerset Hills towns, already are within the 7th Congressional district, and being represented by Lance.
Frelinghuysen endorsed Lance during the campaign, and has long worked closely with Lance in Congress, and the two share a similar voting record and outlook, said Todd Mitchell, of Lance's Washington, D.C. staff.
Lance, who last weekend campaigned in Bernards Township with local Republicans and on Monday morning greeted commuters at the township's Lyons train station, wll return to the area to futher get to know voters, Mitchell said.
On the other hand, Mitchell said that Lance and his staff are confident that once voters of both parties get to know Lance, they will feel he can provide "equal or better representation" than they now have.
Lance will be working in tandem with Frelinghuysen on transitioning to pick up on such concerns as veterans affairs at the Veterans Administration Health Care System at Lyons, said Mitchell.
However, the Congressman realizes that Bernards and the other towns still are in Frelinghuysen's Congressional territory for the remainder of 2012, Mitchell said.
Lance also is "a sitting Congressman, so there's no rest for the weary," Mitchell said the day after Lance's victory for the Republican nomination. The Congressman already was back representing his current district, "giving 110 percent," Mitchell said.
Larsen's next day comment on his opponent
"Moving forward, I will be observing Congressman Lance, making sure that he is accountable to the people of the 7th district," Larsen, a Tewksbury businessman and second-time challenger to Lance, said the day after the election was called in Lance's favor.
"Now is not the time to maintain the status quos," Larsen's statement continued. "Now is the time for bold action and leadership. So I charge Congressman Lance with the responsibility of redirecting this country in the right direction, right now. He must work to enact comprehensive tax, spending, regulation and entitlement reforms. It is also incumbent upon him to lead. That means advocating free-market principles to create a business friendly environment by removing excessive government intervention."
Mitchell said Lance, who is seeking his third two-year term in U.S. Congress, "did extremely well [in the new areas of the 7th district] because he ran on a platform of lower taxes, less spending and debt, and fewer regulations."