Statements from elected officials on the passing of Bob Franks, a former Congressman, Assemblyman, and GOP State Chairman, who passed away at the age of 58:
Gov. Christopher Christie:
“Bob Franks was an American Patriot,” said the governor. “Bob loved his country, he loved New Jersey, he loved public service and he loved his family.
“Not only was Bob a great Assemblyman and Congressman, but he was also an outstanding political leader for the Republican Party. He provided tireless leadership to our party and our state and, as a result, trained his successors—the next generation of New Jersey’s and America’s public servants. He saw that as part of his duty as a leader and it was truly one of the joys of his life.
“Mary Pat and I are truly saddened by the tragedy of his passing and the inconceivable void it leaves for Fran and their three beautiful children. We will be praying for them and we ask all New Jerseyans to pray for Bob and his family during this extraordinarily sad time.”
Former Gov. Jon Corzine:
“Sharon and I were deeply saddened by this news. Bob was one of a kind — smart, compassionate, and principled, he touched the lives of countless New Jerseyans. Everyone who knew him will miss his relentless optimism. Those of us who were on the other side of the political aisle always knew that we shared with Bob a common sense of humanity and decency. I’m proud to have called him a friend, and my heart goes out to Fran and the girls in this very difficult time.”
Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield):
Without question, today is a tremendously sad day for me… and the people of New Jersey. We lost an incredible public servant who, whether in the public sector or in the private sector always chose the high road. Bob Franks was my mentor, my colleague, and most importantly… my friend.
For more than two decades, Bob proudly served New Jersey – his home and the state he loved so very much – with selflessness and dignity. From his time as a New Jersey State Assemblymen, to his term as Republican Party Chairman, to his years of service on Capitol Hill representing the Seventh District in the halls of Congress – Bob tirelessly fought to keep New Jersey as the state where everyone would want to live and raise a family.
And while Bob was an energetic Republican who crisscrossed this State to support his party, its candidates and their beliefs – his partisanship stopped on the campaign trail — proving that crossing the aisle, and setting aside party differences, could result in great things for the people of the Garden State.
I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to his family – his wife, Fran and his three beautiful little girls. While New Jersey lost one its most devout advocates and esteemed public servants, I am certain his children will one day understand the profound impact their father not only had on their lives, but on those of countless residents of our great state.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford):
“Bob Franks was the type of leader who knew when to put partisanship aside for the good of New Jersey. His passing is a loss for everyone who appreciates the difference between policy and politics. Bob will always be remembered, quite simply and fittingly, as a good and decent man. My thoughts and prayers are with the Franks family at this most difficult time.”
Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany):
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague Bob Franks. Bob was not only a great leader and political strategist, he was a gentleman who was respected by all his colleagues and constituents. Bob provided valuable insights on public policy, and helped guide the resurgence of the Republican party in our state. His contributions will always be remembered. My sympathies and prayers are with his wife, Fran, and their children.”
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange):
“I was deeply saddened today to hear of the loss of one of New Jersey’s great leaders – Bob Franks. Congressman Franks will always be remembered as an honorable man who made public policy and a better life for all New Jerseyans his priority. On behalf of the New Jersey General Assembly, which is proud to have had Congressman Franks as one of its own, I offer my prayers and condolences to his family. He will be missed.”
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan (D-Union):
“Congressman Franks will be remembered as a kind and distinguished man who always put public policy and the good of our state first and foremost. We’ll always be able to look to Congressman Franks as an example of what it means to be a fine public servant. He will be missed, and I offer prayers and condolences to his friends and family at this difficult time.”
Assembly Minority Conference Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield):
“We have lost a statesman and true leader. Bob’s civility and warmth should serve as a reminder to all elected officials of the importance to respect each other and our institutions of government. We will all miss Bob Franks and our prayers and thoughts are with his family.”
Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains), the GOP State Chairman:
“This morning we were all deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Former Representative Bob Franks. His enthusiasm and passion for public service and to the Republican Party as Assemblyman, Congressman and NJGOP Chairman spanned a lifetime. With heavy hearts, we remember him as a man dedicated to serving New Jersey with unsurpassed drive and vigor that crossed party lines. On behalf of the New Jersey Republican Party, I extend my prayers and deepest condolences to Bob’s wife, Fran and to his daughters, Sara, Abigail and Kelly.”
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville), the Democratic State Chairman:
‘Throughout his career Bob Franks made every institution he worked for stronger and everyone he worked with a better person. Bob Franks is someone every elected official should strive to be like. He was one of the best political thinkers and strategists of our generation, and his passion for shaping policy helped inspire and develop the next generation of young leaders in this state on both sides of the aisle. His advice and counsel will be sorely missed, and his commitment to New Jersey will never be forgotten. ‘
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch):
Former Congressman Bob Franks passed away much too soon. As a public servant, he constantly tried to bring Democrats and Republicans together, and insisted that elected officials be friends regardless of ideology. He was a champion for health care believing that everyone should have insurance coverage. Bob fought hard on behalf of New Jersey’s pharmaceutical industry and was instrumental in creating Rx4NJ which provides free or low cost prescription drugs to those in need.
Bob was a great husband and dad, always putting his family first. I will sorely miss him.
U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton):
“I am deeply saddened by the news of Bob Franks’ passing.
“Bob was a good friend, trusted colleague and mentor who dedicated his entire public life to making New Jersey a better place for all of its residents.
“My wife Heidi and I send our thoughts and prayers to Bob’s wife Fran and their three beautiful daughters Kelly, Sara and Abigail.”
Assemblyman David RIble (R-Wall):
“I am terribly saddened to hear of the passing of Bob Franks. We were incredibly fortunate to have a dedicated public servant like Bob Franks representing us in the Legislature and in Congress. I consider it an honor to serve in the Assembly where Bob Franks established an unmatched legacy of serving his constituents with class and distinction. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this difficult time.”