New Jersey: Lance Headed to Showdown With Stender in 7th District

Posted June 3, 2008 at 9:44pm

State Sen. Leonard Lance appears on course to beat out former Summit County Freeholder Kelly Hatfield, political activist Kate Whitman and four other Republican candidates for the GOP nomination in New Jersey’s 7th district. With 97 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, Lance held a 21-point lead over Whitman, the daughter of former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R), and a 25-point lead over Hatfield. Lance will now face Democratic state Assemblywoman Linda Stender in the race to replace retiring Rep. Mike Ferguson (R). Congressional Democrats count the 7th district as one of their best pickup opportunities of the cycle. Stender lost by just 1 point to Ferguson in 2006, and she began ramping up her fundraising operation even before Ferguson disclosed his retirement plans. She has raised more than $1 million so far this cycle and had $845,000 in cash on hand as of the end of the first quarter. – John McArdle