New Jersey Hills Newspapers Endorse Leonard Lance for Congress
EDITORIAL: Vote for Lance
We have always liked Congressman Leonard Lance, R-7; he’s honest, principled, thoughtful and fiscally conservative.
He defied the Tea Party wing of his own party during the disastrous federal government shutdown forced by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and the House Republican majority several years ago and took a courageous public position nine days into the shutdown calling for compromise and reopening the government.
Lance did so despite facing the most significant GOP primary challenges on the right of any New Jersey congressman, knowing that his vote would be used against him by his perennial primary Tea Party challenger, David Larsen.
In an era of vitriolic partisanship and lock-step party-line voting, Lance, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, stands out for his willingness to take principled stands, particularly on tax-and-spending issues where he is the embodiment of the fiscal conservative. He is a voice of moderation, behind caucus doors, in a political atmosphere on both sides of the aisle prone to ideological diatribes.
We remember tho’ when the Congressman, while a true fiscal hawk, was a genuine moderate Republican on more social issues – pro-choice, sensitive to environmental issues, climate change – and we would like to see that Lance return.
Perhaps it is because he faces a perennial Tea Party challenger who has run against him unsiccessfully now four times. Lance now spends a lot of time promoting his conservative credentials and his website prominently projects the word Conservative as one of his defining characteristics.
He trods a fine line with his lukewarm endorsement of Donald Trump as his party’s nominee – he did not attend the Republican National Convention – and cites his concern about U.S. Supreme Court appointments under a Democratic administration.
He hints at more conciliation, moderation and across-the-aisle politics in Congress, with the possibility of a third-straight Democratic administration, the first since Roosevelt/Truman administrations, that he said “should inform us how we must move forward.” We hope so.
We like his Democratic challenger this year Peter Jacob. He is articulate, very bright and energetic and we agree with his stands on climate change, a woman’s right to choose, Wall Street safeguards and overturning Citizens United. He is 31 and our only hestitation is that this is his first run at elective office and we think all would be better served if his elective apprenticeship not be served on such a national stage.
He is a progressive Democrat, the only New Jersey congressional candidate to earn the endorsement of Bernie Sanders, so perhaps the 7th district which is all of Hunterdon County, and parts of urban Essex, Union, Morris and Somerset counties, is not quite ready for such a change.
But demographics are changing. There are now more registered Democrats, for instance, in Somerset County, than Republicans; Hunterdon County is getting younger and consequently has a larger Millennial vote and 7th District towns in Union County are growing with an increasingly diverse population.
We hope to hear more from Jacob in the future.
But this year vote for Lance and we hope for a return of the moderate Republican we have so admired in the past. If not, this will be our last Lance endorsement.
Vote for Lance.