Lance, Jacob Agree to Debate

Credits: courtesy photos

CLARK, NJ - Candidates for the 7th Congressional District will face off in an early-morning debate Oct. 27. The district includes both Flemington and Raritan Township.

Republican incumbent Leonard Lance will face Democratic challenger Peter Jacob in a two-hour debate that begins at 8 a.m. The two-hour debate will focus on business issues and the economy.

The event will be hosted by the Gateway Chamber of Commerce and will be held at the Holiday Inn located at 36 Valley Road, off Garden State Parkway exit 135 in Clark.

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Admission to the debate will be $20 in advance and $30 at the door.

The 30-year-old Jacob, a Union County resident, is a social worker and vice president of a small family security business. Lance, a former state assemblyman and state senator, is a Clinton Township resident and is seeking his fifth term in the House of Representatives.

Running unopposed, Jacob received 45,272 votes from Democrats in the June 7 primary, the most votes ever recorded for a single candidate in a 7th District primary.  Lance received 31,489 votes in the Republican primary running against two opponents. A total of 59,000 votes were cast in the Republican primary.

Following the 2010 US Census, the Congressional map was redrawn so that it now includes portions of Essex, Morris, Somerset, Union and Warren counties, as well as the entirety of Hunterdon.

The last time a Democrat represented the 7th District was in 1981.

Jim Coyle, president of the Gateway Chamber of Commerce, will be moderator. The chamber has 1,200 members and is the largest chamber in northern New Jersey.

The Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, AFL-CIO endorsed Lance earlier this week. Lance has also been endorsed by the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police, the New Jersey State PBA, the Port Authority PBA and the New Jersey State Firefighters.

Jacob has been endorsed by former Democrat presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, the only candidate in New Jersey running for office to receive Sanders’ backing.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify that Lance defeated two challengers in the Republican primary.

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