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Rep. Leonard Lance. Photo by Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe.

Lance won’t challenge Malinowski, praises Kean

Former congressman says Kean ‘would be an excellent congressman’

By David Wildstein, April 09 2019 12:40 pm

Former Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) has ruled out a rematch with Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) in New Jersey’s 7th district next year.

“I am not going to run in 2020,” Lance told the New Jersey Globe.

Lance offered strong praise of the front-runner to take on Malinowski, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield).

“I think very highly of Tom. I think he would be an excellent congressman.  I think he’s done a terrific job in the state legislature.  I believe our views are similar,” Lance said.

Kean is expected to announce his candidacy next Tuesday.

Lance served ten years as a congressman before losing his seat last year in the national Democratic wave.

The two families go back decades, when Lance’s father, former Senate President Wesley Lance, supported Kean’s grandfather, Rep. Robert Kean (R-Livingston) for the United States Senate.

Lance served as an assistant counsel on the staff of Kean’s father, former Gov. Thomas H. Kean.

“I think Governor Kean is the most respected person in New Jersey,” Lance said.

The former congressman is not planning to attend Kean’s announcement in Clark next week, but when asked if he was going to endorse Kean for his hold seat, his answer was clearly positive.

“I very well may,” Lance said.

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