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Lester H. Clee

By NJ Globe Staff, August 04 2019 7:42 pm

Lester Harrison Clee (1888-1962) was a prominent Newark clergyman who represented Essex County in the New Jersey State Senate from 1936 to 1939 and was the Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey in 1937.

Clee was elected to the State Assembly in 1934 and as a freshman legislator be was elected Assembly Speaker in 1935.  He was elected to the State Senate in 1935.

In 1937, he defeated State Sen. Clifford Powell in the Republican gubernatorial primary.  U.S. Senator A. Harry Moore, a protégé of Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague who had already served two terms as governor, defeated him in the general election by 45,000 votes.

After leaving the Senate, Gov. Alfred Driscoll named him president of the New Jersey Civil Service Commission and to the State Parole Board.

After moving to Chester Borough around 1950, Clee was later elected councilman and mayor.

Lester H. Clee (R-Newark), a former State Senator, Assembly Speaker and gubernatorial candidate.
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