CRANFORD – Last week, U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) shot down the notion that a critically-perceived drift to the Republican Party’s right wing could cost him votes in November.
“I’m not sure there has been a change. I’ve always voted my conscience,” Lance told PolitickerNJ at a Somerville town hall meeting. “I think my views represent the views of the overwhelming majority of the residents of the district.”
This week, the campaign of Lance’s Seventh Congressional District challenger, Democratic Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach, fired back at Lance’s claims that his policy stands are reflective of the district, which includes all of Hunterdon, the shared home county of Lance and Kovach, as well as parts of Essex, Morris, Somerset, Warren and Union counties.
“Mr. Lance has become the poster boy for the National Rifle Association (NRA) with the highest rating of any New Jersey member of Congress from the gun industry. He’s become anti-choice and supports the Hobby Lobby decision. He denies climate change. Lance is a [U.S. Rep.] Paul Ryan (R-1-WI) sycophant supporting budgets that slash programs for seniors, veterans and the poor. He might as well put on a tricorn hat and Colonial costume at the next Tea Party rally,” said Pat Politano, the Cranford-based spokesman for the Kovach campaign, in a written statement provided to PolitickerNJ on Tuesday. “He’s not the same Leonard Lance New Jersey sent to Congress.”
“Mr. Lance likes to say he represents the views of his constituents, but these aren’t the views of the people of the 7th District and they weren’t even Leonard’s views just a few years ago. It strains credulity to think that the views of the people have changed. Their views and positions haven’t changed. It’s Leonard who’s changed,” added Politano. “After 23 years in office, he’s given up principled positions for political expediency – exactly what’s wrong with Washington and why Congress can’t get anything done. Janice Kovach’s views are far more reflective of the district of people who want to see Washington work. She’s for gun safety. She believes women should make their own health care decisions. She supports small businesses and job creation initiatives. Janice Kovach rejects the Tea Party extremists.”