Congressional Primary Brewing

STATE — With a few weeks before some state legislators face hotly contested primary elections, winds of war are blowing across the 7th Congressional District.

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank plans to come to New Jersey on June 18 in support of Ed Potosnak’s 2012 campaign but the 2010 nominee may find himself fighting for another shot at the incumbent Republican, Rep. Leonard Lance.


Former Edison Mayor Jun Choi said he intends to challenge Lance and Zenon Christodoulou has been said to be considering a run for the nomination.

Christodoulou decided not to run last year but he left open the possibility of pursuing the seat on the hope that the economy would improve by the time President Barack Obama runs for re-election on a ticket with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez.

Lance defeated Potosnak, a Democratic science teacher, by a vote of 104,642 to 71,486. Frank and Potosnak are both gay.

Meanwhile, conservative David Larsen of Tewksbury may again challenge the more liberal, pro-choice Lance, who was one of only eight Republicans in Congress to vote for the cap and trade system on greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

In 2008, Lance won a six-way Republican primary with 40 percent of the vote and last year he scored 56 percent over Larsen and two other challengers

Perhaps shoring up for a primary challenge, Lance was among the 235 Republicans that voted to end Medicare last month.

Choi was defeated for re-election by Mayor Toni Ricigliano in a 2009 Democratic Primary, but in the days before his announcement he attended a fundraiser for Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo — who is under fire for collecting a pension and salary simultaneously — where he was seen with Newark Mayor Cory Booker and other power brokers.

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