Congressional Hopeful: 'People Are Looking for Change'
Campaign event held in Basking Ridge for David Larsen, who opposes Leonard Lance in GOP primary.
Republican candidate for U.S. Congress, David Larsen, brought his campaign against 7th district incumbent Leonard Lance to Basking Ridge with a fundraising event on Tuesday night at the Basking Ridge Country Club.
Larsen, a Tewksbury businessman, is seeking the Republican nomination in the June 5 primary election against U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance, who is campaigning for a third two-year term in U.S. Congress.
Both candidates are new in Bernards Township, which through the remainder of 2012 will be represented by U.S. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen as part of the 11th district. But due to redistricting following the 2010 census, Bernards Township will be shifted to the 7th district, joining the remainder of the Somerset Hills.
Larsen said in an interview at Tuesday's fundraising that he has enjoyed talking to township residents while campaigning door to door, and making phone calls to local residents. "People are looking for a change," he said.
Larsen, who first campaigned against Lance in 2010, prior to the redistricting said the reconfigured district 7 has become the most Republican and conservative Congressional district in New Jersey.
Along with now representing all of Hunterdon County, the new district also has picked up part of Warren County, another Republican stronghold, and towns in mostly Republican Morris, including Long Hill Township, Larsen said.
Larsen said his campaign's polling showed that almost 70 percent of those voters identify themselves as conservative Republicans, and his stance on issues such as abortion, firearms and the economy mirror their political views. For example, his campaign literature said he supports natural gas and oil drilling, clean coal and nuclear energy development and a reduction of government regulations for business.
One of Larsen's supporters at Tuesday's event was Sigrid Falt of Basking Ridge, who said she had been inspired to campaign for Larsen. "He strikes me as an upright, Godly man who is not a typical politician," she said.
Tuesday's fundraiser featuring appearances by conservative radio talk show speaker Steve Malzberg and musician Trade Martin.
"He's a true conservative on every issue," Malzberg said of Larsen on Tuesday. He said he believes it is very important to elect a conservative Republican to Congress at this time.
"The most important thing is that he's had success as a small businessman, who knows how to balance a budget...and run a business," Malzberg said.
Another supporter is John DiMarco of Bridgewater Township, who said he had campaigned for Lance in 2008 because he believed that Lance was a fiscal conservative, even though he disagreed with some of the the candidate's socially moderate positions. However, DiMarco said he does not believe that Lance's voting record does not support his claim of being fiscally conservative.
Both Lance and Larsen have appeared before the Basking Ridge Tea Party, and also before an April event arranged by the Somerset Hills Republican Club.
Lance's office said on Wednesday that he also has appeared a numerous events in Bernards Township and Bernardsville since January, including a town meeting at the Bernardsville Library and a Bernards Township Republican Municipal Committee Fundraiser on May 3.
Lance's campaign said that his conservative record in Congress is in line with voters throughout the new 7th Congressional district, including the towns in Warren and Hunterdon counties that Lance, a Clinton Township resident, had represented when he was a state representative.
Lance defeated Larsen by a 2 to 1 margin in the 2010 election, his campaign noted.
Lance has been endorsed by leading New Jersey conservative leaders, including Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. 11th district Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Republican Leader Tom Kean and State Sen. Mike Doherty, his campaign said.
"Whether fighting against higher taxes, wasteful spending, or ObamaCare, Leonard Lance's fiscally conservative record lines up perfectly with voters in Basking Ridge," his campaign said.