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Former State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth)

Lesniak won’t seek public office again

Former state senator caps 40-year-long political career

By Nikita Biryukov, July 29 2019 3:14 pm

Former State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) won’t challenge Gov. Phil Murphy — or anyone else — in 2021 or any year thereafter.

“I’m not running for political office ever again,” Lesniak said.

Lesniak spent four decades in the legislature, starting in the Assembly in 1978. His tenure was the second longest,  about four years behind former Gov. Richard Codey (D-Roseland), who entered the legislature in 1974.

Lesniak did not seek re-election in 2017, instead opting to run for governor. He finished fourth in that race.

Throughout his lengthy political career, the once powerbroker advanced bills banning the death penalty, legalizing sports betting and making gay marriage legal in New Jersey.

Though he has left the legislature, Lesniak still makes appearances in New Jersey politics.

On Monday, He testified before the Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies in defense of a 2013 tax incentive bill he championed, and he has made numerous other appearances at the statehouse and other political arenas in New Jersey since leaving the legislature.

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