Election 2007 Coverage

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The Races:

District 20
State Senate
- Linda Gagliano (R)
- Ray Lesniak (D)
General Assembly
- Neil Cohen (D)
- Joseph Cryan (D)
District 21
State Senate
- Tom Kean Jr. (R)
- Gina Genovese (D)
General Assembly
- Jon Bramnick (R)
- Eric Munoz (R)
- Norman Albert (D)
- Bruce Bergen (D)
- Ryan Reyes (G)
- George DeCarlo (G)
District 22
State Senate
- Rose McConnell (R)
- Nicholas Scutari (D)
General Assembly
- Bryan DesRochers (R)
- Robert Gatto (R)
- Jerry Green (D)
- Linda Stender (D)
County Freeholders
- Patricia Quattrocchi (R)
- John Russitano Jr. (R)
- Robert Reilly (R)
- Daniel Sullivan (D)
- Bette Jane Kowalski (D)
- Rayland Van Blake (D)
- Adrian Mapp
- Becky McHugh
- George O'Grady
County Sheriff
- Peter Lijoii (R)
- Ralph Froehlich (D)
- Charles Mitchell Sr.
Westfield Council
First Ward
- Frank Arena (R)
- Ross Katz (D)
Second Ward
- Jo Ann Neylan (R)
- Bruce Regenstreich (D)
Third Ward
- Mark Ciarrocca (R)
- Matt Sontz (D)
Fourth Ward
- James Foerst (R)
- Lenore Scurry (D)
Fanwood Mayor
- Colleen Mahr (D)
Fanwood Council
- Anthony Parenti (R)
- Joel Stroz (R)
- Katherine Mitchell (D)
- William Populus (D)
Garwood Council
- Anthony Sytko (R)
- Dennis Clark (R)
- Charles Lombardo (D)
- Stephen Napolitano (D)
Mountainside Mayor
- Robert Viglianti (R)
Mountainside Council
- Glenn Mortimer (R)
- Jeffrey Wass (R)
goleader.com Election Coverage 2007 
District 20: General Assembly
Neil Cohen
Party Affiliation: Democrat

Contact Info
Website: www.njcommunityfirst.com
E-mail: njcommunityfirst@gmail.com

Candidate Information

Professional Background: Mr. Cohen is an attorney and a partner in the Essex County law firm of Gill and Cohen, P.C., in Montclair. He previously served a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Harry Hazelwood, Jr., Superior Court of New Jersey. From 1978 through 1981, he served as trial attorney for the State of New Jersey’s Office of Public Defender.

Education: Mr. Cohen is a graduate of Howard University Law School in Washington D.C. While in law school he was chosen for employment by a Presidential Commission and presented cases at the White House and Camp David.

Family Life: Mr. Cohen lives in Roselle and is a lifelong resident of Union County. He is the son of Ruth and the late Leonard Cohen of Union Township.

Government Experience: Mr. Cohen was first elected to the General Assembly in 1990 to represent the 21st Legislative District. In 1993, he was elected to the 20th Legislative District and became the first member of the Legislature to ever be elected to represent two separate districts. He is now serving in his eighth term. He has served as the Union County Democratic Chairman and as a Union County Freeholder.

During his first term representing the 20th district, Mr. Cohen served as the Democratic Minority Whip. He has served on the Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs, the Holocaust Victims’ Memorial Commission and the New Jersey Israel Commission. In 1995 his colleagues appointed him to serve as the Deputy Minority Leader; he served through 2001 and then went on to serve as Deputy Majority Leader through 2005.

Mr. Cohen serves as Assembly Deputy Speaker and is chairman of the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. He is also a member of the Labor Committee and Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics.

Clubs and Organizations: Mr. Cohen serves on the board of trustees of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.

He has been honored by the state business and labor community as “Legislator of the Year” in 1991. In 1995, a leading bipartisan women’s organization presented him with the “Good Guy of the Year” Award, and in 1996, Mr. Cohen received the Ann Klein Advocate Award for his leadership in championing legislative policy that create opportunities for and protect the rights of people with disabilities and senior citizens. He has also been honored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Humanitarian of the Year by the New Jersey Association of Retarded Citizens, and by the Union County Mental Health Association.

Major Issues: Since his first term in the Assembly, Mr. Cohen has had more than 170 legislative initiatives signed into law by five governors. These include laws that provide health insurance coverage for mammography testing, health insurance benefits for bone marrow transplants for cancer treatment, trigger-lock requirements on firearms, anti-money-laundering laws, restriction of strip searches by law enforcement and school officials, expansion of eligibility for the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) program, the extension of “bias crimes” to include crimes intended to intimidate based upon handicap or gender, veterans property-tax deduction increases, law banning racial profiling and consumer-fraud protection for senior citizens.

Mr. Cohen supports stem-cell research. He sponsored a law authorizing all types of stem-cell research and has made efforts to educate about stem-cell research's potential to discover potential cures for diseases and ailments.

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Last Updated: Friday, October 19, 2007
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