Leonard Lance

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Leonard Lance
Leonard Lance official congressional photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 7th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Preceded by Mike Ferguson
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 23rd district
In office
January 8, 2002 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by William E. Schluter
Succeeded by Marcia Karrow[1]
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 23rd district
In office
February 21, 1991 – January 8, 2002
Preceded by William E. Schluter
Succeeded by Michael Doherty[2]
Personal details
Born (1952-06-25) June 25, 1952 (age 66)
Easton, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Heidi A. Rohrbach
Residence Clinton Township, New Jersey[3]
Alma mater Lehigh University (B.A.)
Vanderbilt University (J.D.)
Princeton University (M.P.A.)
Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic
Website lance.house.gov

Leonard J. Lance (born June 25, 1952) is the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 7th congressional district, serving since 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously served in the New Jersey Senate and the New Jersey General Assembly.

Early life, education, and early political career

Leonard Lance was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, into a political family. His parents were Anne M. (née Anderson) and Wesley Leonard Lance, who was a State Senator.[4][5] His great-uncle, H. Kiefer Lance, was also active in New Jersey politics.

After attending North Hunterdon High School in Annandale, New Jersey, Lance received a B.A. from Lehigh University in 1974, a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1977 and an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in New Jersey in 1982.[6]

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.

New Jersey legislature

Lance served in the New Jersey General Assembly for 11 years (1991–2002) and served in the New Jersey Senate for 7 years (2002–2009). In 2002 he was elected to the New Jersey Senate and held the position of Minority Leader from 2004 to 2008.[6]


In 1987, he first ran for the General Assembly. He lost the Republican primary, ranking third with 17% in New Jersey's 23rd District.[7] Lance was appointed to the New Jersey General Assembly in February 1991 when then-Assemblyman William E. Schluter was appointed to the New Jersey Senate upon the ascension of Dick Zimmer from the New Jersey Senate to the United States House of Representatives in January 1991. After redistricting, Lance ran for the newly redrawn 23rd District in 1991, and won the Republican primary. In the general election, he ranked second with 30%, winning a seat. Incumbent Republican State Assemblyman Chuck Haytaian ranked first in the district with 33%.[8] In 1993, Lance won re-election to a second term with 40%.[9] In 1995, he won re-election to a third term with 34%.[10] In 1997, he won re-election to a fourth term with 30%.[11] In 1999, he won re-election to a fifth term with 36%.[2]

After redistricting, he ran for the New Jersey Senate in 2001 in the 23rd District. He defeated Democrat Frederick P. Cook 69%–31%.[12] In 2003, he won re-election to a second term with 68%.[13] In 2007, he won re-election to a third term with 67%.[1]

Committee assignments

In the general assembly, 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 served on the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, the Legislative Services Commission and the Budget and Appropriations Committee.[6] As Republican Budget Officer, he 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.

U.S. House of Representatives



Incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Dick Zimmer of New Jersey's 12th congressional district decided to retire in order to run for the U.S. Senate. Lance decided to run and lost, ranking third with 26% of the vote. He carried two of the district's five counties: Mercer and Hunterdon. Michael Pappas a former Mayor of Franklin Township, Somerset County, NJ won the Republican primary with 38%.[14]


On June 3, 2008, Lance won the Republican primary to replace retiring U.S. 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 Governor 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.[15] 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 Israeli–Palestinian conflict and increased attention to the Darfur Genocide. 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 Sagal. 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 defeated Linda Stender 50%–42%.[16][17]


On June 8, 2010, Lance defeated three other candidates in the 7th District Republican primary, two of whom claimed to be tea party activists. He received 56% of the vote with the rest of the vote split among: businessman David Larsen (31%), IT consultant Lon Hosford (8%), and real estate appraiser Bruce Baker (5%).[18][19]

Lance defeated the Democratic nominee, science teacher Ed Potosnak, in the November general election 59%–41%.[20]


Redistricting made Lance's district significantly more Republican than its predecessor.[21][22] The new map pushed the 7th to the north, absorbing several heavily Republican areas that had previously been in the strongly Republican 5th and 11th districts while losing some Democratic-leaning areas.

In the 2012 Republican primary, Lance was again challenged by Larsen, who identifies himself with the Tea Party movement although he is not formally a member.[23] On June 5, 2012, Lance again won the Republican primary, this time 61%–39%.[24] Lance defeated the Democratic challenger, Assemblyman Upendra J. Chivukula, 57%–40%.


Lance voted against continued funding to Planned Parenthood, a national women's reproductive health care provider that also performs abortions.[citation needed] He also joined his party in opposing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, and 2009 "war supplemental",[citation needed] while breaking 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. During President Bush's tenure and while he was still in the state senate, Lance openly voiced support for the Iraq War.

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.[25]

In 2011, Lance left the House Financial Services Committee and was appointed to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Lance voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,[26] and has been at the forefront of action to encourage the Supreme Court to review the legislation. Lance is a member of the centrist Republican Main Street Partnership.

Committee assignments

Caucus Memberships
  • Congressional Arts Caucus
  • Congressional Israel Allies Caucus
  • House Republican Israel Caucus
  • Rare Disease Caucus

Lance is a co-chairman of the House Republican Israel Caucus. The caucus focuses on the relationship between the United States and Israel. It is one of the largest organizations of Members of Congress, in terms of membership numbers.[27] Lance has served as a co-chairman since at least 2011.[28] Additionally, Lance is a member the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus. The caucus is sponsored by the Israel Allies Foundation, a group that promotes communication between legislative members in different countries and supports the right of Israel to exist in peace.[29][30]

Lance also serves as the Republican chairman of the Rare Disease Caucus. The goal of the caucus is to get Members of Congress to support passing bills that help people who suffer from rare diseases.[31] Seventy-six Members of Congress are caucus members.[32]

Notable legislation

In 2013, Lance introduced the Modernizing Our Drug and Diagnostic Evaluation and Regulatory Network Cures (MODDERN) Act, a bill intended to encourage new innovative treatments for a variety of diseases and ailments. The MODDERN Drug Act proposes to reevaluate and reintroduce drugs that were once in the development phase, back into production and testing. Backers of the bill hope this will lead to new treatments that were once thought too costly to research and test. This bill would benefit patients suffering from a variety of ailments including but not limited to: ALS, Parkinson's, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and Alzheimer's.[33]

Personal life

Lance married his wife, Heidi A. Rohrbach, who is a VP at JPMorgan Chase, in August 1996. They have a son, named Peter Frank.[34] He is a former trustee of the Newark Museum, of Centenary College in Hackettstown and of McCarter Theatre in Princeton.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "NJ State Senate 23 Race – Nov 06, 2007". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "NJ General Assembly 23 Race – Nov 04, 1999". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  3. "Congressman Leonard Lance : Biography". Lance.house.gov. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  4. Hon. Leonard Lance (MPA '82), Princeton University Policy Research Institute for the Region. Accessed May 11, 2007.
  5. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/reps/lance.htm
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Senator Lance's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved April 16, 2008.
  7. "NJ General Assembly 23 – R Primary Race – Jun 02, 1987". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  8. "NJ General Assembly 23 Race – Nov 05, 1991". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  9. "NJ General Assembly 23 Race – Nov 02, 1993". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  10. "NJ General Assembly 23 Race – Nov 07, 1995". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  11. "NJ General Assembly 23 Race – Nov 04, 1997". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  12. "NJ State Senate 23 Race – Nov 06, 2001". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  13. "NJ State Senate 23 Race – Nov 04, 2003". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  14. "NJ District 12 – R Primary Race – Jun 04, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  15. "Lance takes 7th District GOP race", The Star-Ledger, June 4, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2008.
  16. Bricketto, Martin C. "Leonard Lance defeats Linda Stender to win election to District 7", Home News Tribune, November 5, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2008.
  17. http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=351210
  18. "U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance clinches Republican nomination in the 7th District". The Star-Ledger. 2010-06-08. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  19. "2010 New Jersey Election Results". The Star-Ledger. 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  20. http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=496869
  21. Isenstadt, Alex (December 23, 2011). "New Jersey remap a lump of coal for Democrats". Politico. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  22. Amick, George. "The effects of congressional redistricting in Mercer". NJ.com. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  23. Garber, Phil (February 16, 2012). "Tea Party backer, Oldwick resident David Larsen to battle Lance for Congressional seat". Hunterdon Review. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  24. "Lance defeats Larsen in 7th District Republican primary for Congress". Hunterdon County Democrat. June 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  25. "Congressman Leonard Lance : Press Releases : Energy Bill Vote Was in New Jersey's Best Interest". Lance.house.gov. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  26. "Lance Poised to Vote to Repeal Costly Health Care Law". lance.house.gov. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  27. Lance, Leonard (27 January 2015). "Lance To Lead Israel Caucus for 114th Congress" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Congressman Leonard Lance. Retrieved 28 January 2015 – via TAPinto. 
  28. Lance, Leonard (8 February 2011). "House Republican Israel Caucus Announces Co-Chairs" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Congressman Leonard Lance. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  29. "Congressional Israel Allies Caucus". Israel Allies Foundation. Washington, D.C. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  30. "About the Israel Allies Foundation". Israel Allies Foundation. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  31. "Lance to chair Congressional Rare Disease Caucus again". The Ripon Advance. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  32. "Rare Disease Congressional Caucus". National Organization for Rare Disorders. Danbury, CT. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  33. Julie Harrison, "Lance introduces bill to encourage innovative treatments for chronic diseases", The Ripon Advance, 09-17-2013. (Retrieved 09-18-2013)
  34. Heidi Rohrbach, Leonard Lance, NY Times, August 11, 1996, retrieved July 17, 2011 

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

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Lynn Jenkins
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Blaine Luetkemeyer
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