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In 7th Congressional District, Republicans Tout Conservative Credentials

Larsen’s campaign website cites 11 issues. It notes his support for scaling down the federal government to “those powers and responsibilities specifically enumerated in the Constitution.”

Larsen calls for an audit of the Federal Reserve System, charging that the 101-year old central banking authority has devalued the dollar. Based on the findings, Larsen would consider dissolving the Fed to “return the power of printing money to the Department of Treasury, under the supervision of an elected Congress,” according to his website.

Larsen, like Lance, states his opposition to the ACA and illegal immigration.

Larsen maintains his conservative credential are more solid. Paraphrasing former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton’s critique of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Larsen said, “We have to stop sending cupcakes to Washington.”

Larsen, who said he founded his construction and home improvement company while in college, contends he has the business credentials experience that Lance, an attorney, lacks.

“Lance has been the perpetual candidate for three decades. This is his main lifestyle. This is where he gets his money. I’ve been working in the private sector for 36 years,” Larsen said, adding that Lance “went right from law school and straight into elective office.”

Lance did not proceed directly to the Assembly, where he elected in 1992. He worked in government for more than a decade after getting his law degree, including a stint as assistant counsel for Gov. Thomas H. Kean from 1983 to 1990.

Lance, on that topic, said, “I understand small businesses.” The National Retail Association, on May 16, dubbed him a “Hero of Main Street.”

A look at Lance’s donors on the Federal Election Commission website underscores his institutional backing: Richard Bagger, a former Pfizer executive who was Gov. Chris Christie’s chief of staff for two years, donated $1,000; former Gov. Donald DiFrancesco gave $500; Ferguson, chair of Ferguson Strategies LLC, gave a combined $3,000 in three donations; Kean gave $2,000 in two contributions.

Larsen said he understands the formidable obstacles facing his candidacy.

“It’s always nice to have an established organization,” he said.

Larsen, though, professed optimism about connecting with Republican primary voters, on his third try for Capitol Hill.

“We’re going to the people,” he said.

Rob Jennings is a journalist covering politics and government in New Jersey.

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