The Westfield Leader since 1890
since 1890
Area Candidates, NJ General Election - Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Election results (unofficial) will be reported upon close of the polls. Polls close at 8 pm. For tallies, other candidates, voter information and polls, see main election page.


RAY LESNIAK: DEM, incumbent, Senate: 2 years: leginfo@njleg.org
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Candidate Bio and Statement: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/BIO.asp?Leg=61
    A Native of Elizabeth, NJ, Senator Raymond J. Lesniak began his legislative career in 1978. He served five and one-half years in the New Jersey General Assembly. In 1983, he was elected to the State Senate and currently Chairs the Senate Economic Growth Committee and serves on the Judiciary and Commerce Committees.
    Throughout his career, Senator Lesniak has championed a wide range of legislative efforts. Early in his tenure, he sponsored landmark environmental policies such as the Environmental Cleanup Responsibility Act (ECRA), the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Air Pollution Control Act: making New Jersey first-in-the-nation to tackle such issues.
    In 2007, he led efforts to abolish the death penalty in New Jersey. His dedication made New Jersey the first state in the Union to abolish the death penalty since the Supreme Court reinstated it in the 1970s.
    As Chairman of the Senate Economic Growth Committee, Senator Lesniak drafted and passed an economic stimulus package that will spur economic development through public-private partnerships and tax incremental financing. He has also championed efforts to increase accountability and oversight in our institutions of higher education.
    Never shying away from the tough issues, Senator Lesniak is currently working on legislation to create educational opportunities for New Jersey’s most disadvantaged students, to legalize sports betting in the Garden State, to abolish the current Council on Affordable Housing and to create a market driven system for municipalities to meet their affordable housing obligations.
    Most recently, Senator Lesniak was at the forefront of efforts to pass legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry in the State of New Jersey. He plans to release a book outlining the fight for gay marriage, highlighting the importance of the issue.
    Beyond legislation, the Senator also travels the globe advocating for the abolition of the death penalty and other civil rights issues. In February 2009, he became the second American in history to win the Memorial de Caen International Human Rights Competition for Lawyers in Caen, France. His speech, entitled “The Road to Justice and Peace,” won the acclaim of an international panel of judges and invigorated the abolitionist efforts at home and abroad.
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