Does Leonard Lance want to be the first since Daniel O’Hern?

None of the seven members of the New Jersey State Supreme Court have ever been elected to public office. That provides a sharp contrast to the first Supreme Court appointed after the adoption of the current State Constitution in 1947. Of the first seven Justices, five had been former elected officials: Clarence Case spent eleven years as the State Senator from Somerset County and was a former Senate President; Dayton Oliphant served three terms in the State Assembly, one as the Majority Leader; Harry Heher was the Mercer County Democratic Chairman for seven years and was finishing his tenth year as the Democratic State Chairman when he was appointed to the top court; Albert Burling was a former Pennsauken Councilman and served one term as the State Senator from Burlington County; and Henry Ackerman was elected twice to represent Monmouth County in the State Senate. Of the remaining two original Justices, Arthur Vanderbilt was a top Republican insider who spent 25 years as the Essex County Counsel, and William Wachenfeld was the Essex County Prosecutor. The last time a former elected official to be nominated for the state Supreme Court was Daniel O’Hern, who was named by Governor Brendan Byrne. O’Hern was the Mayor of Red Bank from 1962 to 1978, when Byrne appointed him Commissioner of Environmental Protection. He was serving as Counsel to the Governor when he was nominated for the top court. For extreme political junkies: Justice Case was the uncle of future four-term U.S. Senator Clifford Case, and Oliphant was the nephew of William Dayton, who served as New Jersey’s U.S. Senator from 1842 to 1851. Clarence Case was originally appointed to the Supreme Court in 1929 and elevated to Chief Justice in 1946. After the passage of the new State Constitution, the Supreme Court was dissolved and Governor Alfred Driscoll named Vanderbilt as Chief Justice and Case as an Associate Justice — the only Chief Justice to ever move down to an Associate Justice spot. Dayton spent three years as a state Supreme Court Justice before going to the Senate. He lost re-election in 1852 and in 1856 became the first Republican nominee for Vice President, running with California Senator John Fremont; they lost to Democrats James Buchanan and John Breckenridge. He was state Attorney General from 1857 to 1861 (the only major party candidate for Vice President to return to public office as a state Attorney General) and U.S. Minister to France under President Abraham Lincoln from 1861 until his death in 1864.

Does Leonard Lance want to be the first since Daniel O’Hern?