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: State Senate
Ray Lesniak
Party Affiliation: Democrat

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

Candidate Information

Professional Background: Mr. Lesniak is a partner in the law firm Weiner Lesniak in Parsippany. He is the vice chairman of the board of First BankAmericano, a community bank headquartered in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He is also the founder of a non-profit group called Democrats for the Soul. Mr. Lesniak is the founder and chairman of the Union/Middlesex County Hazardous Materials Advisory Council (HMAC), which was established in 1981 to provide a vehicle for state, county and local governmental officials to work with industry and residents to minimize risks in the community and rapidly and effectively respond to hazardous discharges. HMAC is the designated organization to conduct yearly SARA drills for emergency-response personnel. It also provides training programs and seminars for emergency-response personnel throughout the year.

Education: Mr. Lesniak is a 1971 graduate of Rutgers University, where he received an A.B. degree in Economics. He graduated St. John's University School of Law with honors in 1974, receiving his Juris Doctorate degree. He was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1974 and served as staff attorney and interim director of the Office of Poverty and the Law, Department of Community Affairs.

Government Experience: Elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1977, Mr. Lesniak served five and one-half years. In his last Assembly term, he was chairman of the Agriculture & Environment Committee. He was elected to the Senate in a special election in 1983 for a half-year term and elected to a full term beginning January 1984; he has been re-elected six times. He served as chairman of the Labor, Industry & Professions Committee from 1988 to 1991 and as a member of the Senate Education Committee from 1990 to 1991. He currently serves as chairman of the Senate Economic Growth Committee and a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Senate Judiciary Committee and the Joint Committee on Public Schools; he is co-chairman of the Task Force on Higher Education and the Economy.

Clubs and Organizations: Mr. Lesniak served as a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's board of trustees and co-chairman of the Union County Alliance. He serves as a member of the Board of Overseers for the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. He was the New Jersey State Democratic chairman from 1992 to 1993, and the New Jersey campaign chairman for Clinton/Gore in 1996 and Gore/Lieberman in 2000.

Mr. Lesniak is a member of the Polish Legion of American Veterans, Post 91 and the Freedom Club of Joseph Pilsudski. In 1982, he was named "Citizen of the Year" by the Polish American World, and in 1991, he was named "Man of the Year" by the Jewish National Fund. He was named "Man of the Year" in 1999 by the American Cancer Society, Union County.

In 2002, Mr. Lesniak was named "Humanitarian of the Year" by Community Access Unlimited for his legislative efforts on behalf of people with disabilities and for providing support to working poor families and the homeless.

In 2003 he was awarded "Legislator of the Year" by the Medical Society of New Jersey for working to make healthcare more affordable and accessible, expanding the PAAD low-cost prescription drug program to cover more seniors and expanding cancer and diabetes research and education. He also received the Phillip M. Scanlan Environmental Award for his contributions to improving the environment, awarded by Quality New Jersey.

He was the grand marshal of the Pulaski Day Parade in New York City in 2004.

Major Issues:
a. Homeland Security - Mr.  Lesniak sponsored the New Jersey Domestic Preparedness Act, passed into law in October 2001, creating the Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force to coordinate and enhance New Jersey’s domestic security procedures.

b. Transportation Improvements and Construction - Mr. Lesniak championed the re-authorization of the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund by sponsoring legislation to that effect.

c. Education - Legislation Mr. Lesniak sponsored gave the commissioner of education greater authority to monitor and intervene in school districts.

d. The Environment -
Mr.  Lesniak is the sponsor of the New Jersey Spill Compensation Act, the first fund in the nation to clean up hazardous waste sites, the $100 million Hazardous Discharge Bond Act; the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Environmental Cleanup Responsibility Act (ECRA) and New Jersey's criminal laws regarding the collection, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste.

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Last Updated: Friday, October 19, 2007
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