ONLINE GAMBLING CAMPAIGNER TO RUN FOR NEW JERSEY GOVERNORSHIP
 
"New Jersey needs fundamental reform and a fighter. I’m a fighter," says Ray Lesniak.
 
When the subject of online gambling legalization and a wider dispensation for sports betting comes up in New Jersey the name that inevitably comes to mind is Senator Ray Lesniak, a skilled and persuasive legislator who is renowned for his tenacity in pursuing objectives in the state Senate.
 
Those skills, and Lesniak's progressive approach to both topics, could be put to more influential use in the state governorship, currently held by Chris Christie, and Lesniak announced this week that he has thrown his hat into the gubernatorial ring.
 
"The final decision was I could not hold myself back, NJ needs fundamental reform and a fighter. I’m a fighter,” the redoubtable Lesniak wrote in a Twitter post late Thursday.
 
Prominent local journalist Joe Brennan Jr responded by observing that Lesniak is a "…one-man political machine when he sets his sights on getting things done, in my experience (iGaming & sports betting)."
 
The New Jersey election of a new governor in 2017 will take place on November 7, with primaries scheduled for June 6, 2017.
 
Incumbent Republican Governor Chris Christie, who was re-elected to a second term with 60.3 percent of the vote in 2013, is term-limited and cannot run for a third consecutive term in office.
 
Raymond J. "Ray" Lesniak (born May 7, 1946) is a Democratic Party senator, who has been serving in the New Jersey State Senate since 1983. Before entering New Jersey's upper house, Lesniak served in the General Assembly from 1978 to 1983.
 
A successful lawyer by professional discipline, he is considered a major power broker in the Democratic Party, having served as New Jersey Democratic State Chairman and New Jersey Chair for Clinton/Gore and Gore/Lieberman.