New Jersey voters will fill seats in the United States House of Representatives in all twelve congressional districts in November, plus one Senate seat. This column will attempt to provide at least a snapshot of each of the twenty-six major party candidates in these races. Any reader who would like to see coverage of any third-party candidate in any of these races should please contact the author with at least the identity of the candidate and the race in which he is running.
This article covers the major candidates in the 7th legislative district; the entire series will be indexed here as articles are added.
The 7th Congressional District includes all of Hunterdon County plus the southwestern tip of Warren, the southwestern corner of Morris, most of Somerset, and a western portion of Union counties.
Republican incumbent Congressman Leonard Lance came up through the legal/political world, with a Juris Doctore leading to a position as law clerk in the county court system, a position in the legal department under Governor Kean, and seats in the New Jersey State Assembly and Senate, before running for United States Congress in 2008. He has been incumbent there since then. He is considered a moderate Republican, voting with the party on most bills. His voting record shows that he strongly favors maintaining U.S. sovereignty against the United Nations, and limiting campaign funding; he also favors school vouchers, green energy, gun ownership rights, same-sex marriage, animal rights, and involvement in Iran. He strongly opposes unrestricted abortion rights, citizenship for illegal aliens, higher taxes on the wealthy, free trade, and stimulus packages, and also is against Obamacare. He has held the seat by strong margins since taking it.
His Democratic opponent Janice Kovach has accepted an invitation to be interviewed; we are awaiting her responses to our questions. She has served as Mayor of Clinton, New Jersey, since 2012, with earlier political experience at the local and state levels, and ran unopposed in the primary. She believes that her previous experience in business management prepares her to work with both parties. Her website gives her positions on five issues of importance to her; the top of the list appears to be the U.S. relationship with Israel, which she would support and strengthen in the interest of mutual security particularly against Iran. Second on the list is the economy, which she would improve through stimulus spending on infrastructure and by preventing multinational companies from reducing their share of United States taxes paid. She puts women’s health third, by which she apparently means (first words in her statement) that she favors unrestricted abortion and wants to overturn the Hobby Lobby decision. She also indicates an intention to protect social security and veterans’ benefits.
District 7 has the highest median household income, the lowest unemployment rate, and the second highest graduation rates from both high school and college. It is predominantly white, third highest percentage of white voters in the state and over four-fifths of the total; it shows among the lowest numbers of blacks, an average number of Asians, and a number of Hispanics a bit below the median. Republican Lance took the seat in 2008 from Republican Mike Ferguson; Republicans have tended to hold the seat in recent memory, sometimes by slim pluralities but usually by solid majorities.
The author is attempting to contact all candidates in New Jersey Congressional races, and will in the weeks ahead provide featured coverage of those who respond.