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Richard Zimmer

(1944 - )

Richard Alan "Dick" Zimmer is a Jewish American politician and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Zimmer (born August 16, 1944) was born in Newark, New Jersey, and moved a number of times within New Jersey during his childhood. He graduated from Yale University in 1966 and earned his LL.B. from Yale Law School in 1969. From 1969 to 1975, Zimmer practiced law in New York City.

From 1974 to 1977, Zimmer served as chairman of New Jersey Common Cause, a nonprofit advocacy group and think tank with the mission to make political institutions more open and accountable. From 1982 to 1987, Zimmer held a seat on the New Jersey State Assembly and from 1987 to 1991, he served as a New Jersey state senator.

In 1990, Zimmer was elected as a Republican to represent New Jersey's 12th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was subsequently re-elected twice, in 1993 and 1995. In 1995, Zimmer ran for a vacated seat in the U.S. Senate and despite securing the endorsement of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Williams he lost in the general election to Democrat Robert Torricelli.

After Congress, Zimmer worked in a number of different law firms and also lectured at Princeton University. In 2000, Zimmer again ran for a seat in Congress but ultimately lost after a recount by only 651 votes.

In 2008, Zimmer secured the Republican nomination to run for election to the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Frank Lautenberg. Again, however, Zimmer was defeated in the general election despite setting a record for most votes cast in New Jersey history for a Republican candidate for statewide office.

On March 11, 2010, Zimmer was appointed by Governor Chris Christie to be the chairman of the New Jersey Privatization Task Force, charged with developing plans to privatize certain state government operations as a cost-cutting measure.

Zimmer and his wife Marfy Goodspeed live in  Hunterdon County, New Jersey and have two sons.

Sources: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress; Wikipedia