Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2008, 3rd term.

Born: June 25, 1952, Easton, PA

Home: Clinton Township

Education: Lehigh U., B.A., 1974; Vanderbilt U., J.D. 1977; Princeton U., M.P.A. 1982

Professional Career: Law clerk, Warren Cnty Court, 1977-78; Asst. cnsl., Gov. Thomas H. Kean, 1983-1990.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: married (Heidi Rohrbach) , 1 children

Leonard Lance is a wonky, self-styled “Eisenhower Republican” elected in 2008. His moderate stances have drawn primary challenges from the right, but his brand of pragmatic fiscal conservatism and social liberalism have proven popular in a suburban district that, politically, still likes Ike.

Lance’s English-German ancestors have lived in Hunterdon County for 300 years, and he and his twin brother, James, grew up there in the small town of Glen Gardner. Politics is in Lance’s blood. His father, Wesley Lance, was a state senator and eventually rose to Senate president. The younger Lance went to Lehigh University in neighboring Pennsylvania, and then headed south to Vanderbilt University to go to law school. He returned to New Jersey to pursue a master’s degree from Princeton University.

One of his early jobs was as Republican Gov. Thomas Kean’s assistant counsel for county and municipal matters. In 1990, he was elected to the New Jersey legislature, where he made a name for himself as a budget hawk and independent thinker. He opposed a spending plan by GOP Gov. Christie Whitman, a move that cost him the Budget Committee chairmanship.

In 2008, GOP Rep. Mike Ferguson did not seek reelection after narrowly holding on to his seat two years earlier in a race against Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Stender. Well-known in the district, Lance got into the primary race against six other candidates. He was the establishment Republicans’ pick, but he faced tough competition from Whitman’s daughter, Kate Whitman, who outraised him and questioned his fiscal bona fides. He was forced to spend nearly all of his funds early on, yet he won the primary by a surprisingly large margin, besting Whitman 39%-20%.

Financially drained by the primary, Lance started the general election campaign seriously outmatched by Stender, who was running again and ultimately outspent him 2-to-1. She criticized Lance for opposing her legislation to make it mandatory for pharmacies to fill prescriptions for birth control pills, including emergency contraception. Lance said he voted against the bill because he believed that mom-and-pop pharmacies should have the right to decide whether to fill such prescriptions. Both political parties pulled out all the stops for this seat. President George W. Bush stumped for Lance, and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton both came to the district to campaign for Stender. Lance did better than expected, winning by 50%-42%.

In the House, Lance frequently joined the conservatives in his party on major legislation in the 112th Congress (2011-12). Despite his backing of abortion rights, he voted with Republicans in 2011 to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood; he said he had never supported public funding of abortions. He also voted in favor of New Jersey Republican Scott Garrett’s budget proposal that year that cut spending even further than Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s blueprint, and for a measure to repeal the ban on incandescent light bulbs established in the 2007 energy law. But Lance resisted Republican attempts to eliminate or slash funding for such programs as the Foreign Agricultural Service and Legal Services Corp. He also provided a crucial “yes” vote on an amendment to boost spending on renewable energy and energy efficiency programs that narrowly passed as part of the fiscal 2012 energy spending bill. He sponsored bipartisan bills to repeal ethanol subsidies, to streamline the regulatory process for gases used in anesthesia, and to promote development of treatments for patients with chronic or rare diseases.

In his first term, Lance was one of just eight Republicans to support energy legislation that included a cap-and-trade program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and one of just three to back the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act assisting victims of wage discrimination lawsuits. He held firm against most of President Barack Obama’s economic agenda, voting against the stimulus bill even as he touted a flood control project in his district that was ready for stimulus money. A former member of the Financial Services Committee, he was a critic of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, saying he was especially troubled by its reliance on unused government bailout funds.

Lance’s moderate stances brought him a GOP primary challenge in 2010, but he was able to defeat three tea party-backed challengers with 56% after winning the support of local Republican organizations. He then faced Democrat Ed Potosnak, a former staffer for Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif. Potosnak, who is openly gay, criticized Lance’s opposition to repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring openly gay military service members. But Lance outraised him by 4-to-1 and won easily, 59%-41%. For keeping the seat in GOP hands, he was rewarded with a plum spot on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Lance drew another primary challenge in 2012 in tea party-backed candidate David Larsen, who called his rival “totally disconnected from the people.” But Lance won, 61%-39%. He then easily dispatched Democrat Upendra Chivukula in the general election with 57%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5361

(202) 225-9460

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2352
Washington, DC 20515-3007

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5361

(202) 225-9460

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2352
Washington, DC 20515-3007

DISTRICT OFFICE

(908) 518-7733

(908) 518-7751

425 North Avenue East
Westfield, NJ 07090

DISTRICT OFFICE

(908) 518-7733

(908) 518-7751

425 North Avenue East
Westfield, NJ 07090

DISTRICT OFFICE

(908) 788-6900

(908) 788-2869

361 Route 31 Unit 1400
Flemington, NJ 08822

DISTRICT OFFICE

(908) 788-6900

(908) 788-2869

361 Route 31 Unit 1400
Flemington, NJ 08822

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(908) 913-0252

PO Box 225
Colonia, NJ 07067

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 225
Colonia, NJ 07067

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Agriculture

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Commerce

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Communication

John Byers
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director

john.byers@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5361

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Disaster

John Byers
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director

john.byers@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5361

Education

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Molly McDonnell
Legislative Assistant

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Molly McDonnell
Legislative Assistant

Finance

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Health

Molly McDonnell
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

John Byers
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director

john.byers@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5361

Housing

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Intelligence

John Byers
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director

john.byers@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5361

Judiciary

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Molly McDonnell
Legislative Assistant

Military

John Byers
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director

john.byers@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5361

Science

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Seniors

Molly McDonnell
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Molly McDonnell
Legislative Assistant

Tax

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Ryan Farrell
Legislative Assistant

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Michael Taggart
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

John Byers
Deputy Chief of Staff; Communications Director

john.byers@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5361

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Leonard Lance
Votes: 175,704
Percent: 57.0%
Upendra Chivukula
Votes: 123,090
Percent: 40.0%
2012 PRIMARY
Leonard Lance
Votes: 23,432
Percent: 60.57%
David Larsen
Votes: 15,253
Percent: 39.43%
2010 GENERAL
Leonard Lance
Votes: 105,084
Percent: 59.37%
Ed Potosnak
Votes: 71,902
Percent: 40.63%
2010 PRIMARY
Leonard Lance
Votes: 17,200
Percent: 56.1%
David Larsen
Votes: 9,475
Percent: 30.91%
Alonzo Hosford
Votes: 2,534
Percent: 8.27%
2008 GENERAL
Leonard Lance
Votes: 148,461
Percent: 50.22%
Linda Stender
Votes: 124,818
Percent: 42.22%
Michael Hsing
Votes: 16,419
Percent: 5.55%
2008 PRIMARY
Leonard Lance
Votes: 10,094
Percent: 39.47%
Kate Whitman
Votes: 5,052
Percent: 19.75%
P. Hatfield
Votes: 3,902
Percent: 15.26%
Martin Marks
Votes: 3,211
Percent: 12.55%
Tom Roughneen
Votes: 1,845
Percent: 7.21%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (59%), 2008 (50%)

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