Congressman Leonard Lance kicked off his reelection campaign for New Jersey’s Seventh Congressional District yesterday in front of . It was his forth stop on his first day of heavy campaigning.
Political leaders from Summit joined other Republican politicians from Westfield and Kenilworth who came out to support Lance.
Mayor Ellen Dickson was on hand as well as Senator Tom Kean, the chairman of the Lance for Congress campaign, Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz and Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, both campaign co-chairs.
“I am proud to endorse Leonard Lance for Congress," said Kean. "As our Congressman, Leonard Lance is leading the fight for lower taxes, less spending and more accountability in the federal budget process," he said.
Lance pointed out that the seventh district had grown this year due to reapportionment, from 54 municipalities to 75. Millburn Township now becomes part of the district, increasing his base.
"As I announce my plans to run for reelection I pledge to serve my constituents with ethical integrity, fiscal responsibility and certainly wholeheartedly and to the best of my ability," Lance said.
The congressman said he came to Summit in part because he is a friend and supporter of Mayor Dickson, but also because Summit, he said, is similar in some ways to other areas in his district. "Summit is an excellent example of a suburb in Union County," Lance remarked, also naming Westfield as another example.
In his speech he called for greater fiscal responsibility citing Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plan as a "serious and honest approach to bringing fiscal sanity back to the nation."
He called on the Senate to pass a budget and said that when Republican candidate Joseph Kyrillos wins his bid for a U.S. Senate seat in November, a budget would be passed.
"He's a very reasonable man," said Lance supporter and lifelong Summit resident Beth Welsh, who was in the crowd of about 20 people. "He can hear the issues and doesn't drive the debate on emotional issues," she said.
Mayor Dickson said she was pleased Lance chose Summit to kick off his campaign, and has credited him with helping the city get a combined services project off the ground. "He got us a shared services grant for $1.8 million," she said about a grant for a shared fire and police dispatch center.
Lance is seeking a third Congressional term this year. His opponent in the Republican primary is conservative Republican and Tea Party supporter David Larsen.