Diane Allen

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Diane Allen
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 7th district
Assumed office
January 13, 1998
Preceded by Jack Casey
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 7th district
In office
January 9, 1996 – January 13, 1998
Preceded by Steven Petrillo
George E. Williams
Succeeded by Herb Conaway
Jack Conners
Personal details
Born (1948-03-08) March 8, 1948 (age 69)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sam
Residence Edgewater Park, New Jersey
Alma mater Bucknell University
Website Senate Republicans website

Diane B. Allen (born March 8, 1948 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American Republican Party legislator, who has been serving in the New Jersey State Senate since 1998, where she represents the 7th Legislative District. She served as the Deputy Republican Conference Leader from 2002 to 2003 and as the Majority Whip from 1998 to 2001. She has been the Deputy Minority Leader in the N.J. Senate since 2004. She was a member of the lower house of the New Jersey Legislature, the New Jersey General Assembly, from 1996 to 1998.[1] Allen is the Chair of the National Foundation for Women Legislators.


Allen grew up in Moorestown Township, New Jersey and first ran for elective office in the 1970s when she ran for the Board of Education of the Moorestown Township Public Schools.[2]

In the 1995 general election, Allen and Republican running mate Carmine DeSopo were elected, defeating Democratic incumbent Steven M. Petrillo and his running mate, newcomer Joseph P. Dugan.[3] The $1.1 million spent in the 1995 Assembly race made it the first in New Jersey to cross the $1 million spending mark, as reported in the results of a study conducted by the Center for the Analysis of Public Issues of Princeton, New Jersey that analyzed campaign finance reports from candidates for all 80 Assembly seats.[4][5]

Incumbent Democrat Jack Casey did not run for re-election in 1997, and in the Senate race that year Allen defeated the Democratic nominee Robert P. Broderick[6]

Allen was elected Chair of the National Foundation for Women Legislators in November 2013. The organization represents the near 1800 female state legislators in America, and supports elected women from all levels of governance.[7]

Senator Allen has served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1996, 2000, as well as in 2004 and 2012. She has served on the Martin Luther King Commission since 1998 and the New Jersey Human Relations Council from 2003 to 2007. She has been the Senate's Deputy Minority Leader since 2006, and serves in the Senate on the Education Committee, the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, as well as the Veterans and military affairs.[1]

She was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate in 2002. Six people ran, with Allen a close second to millionaire businessman Doug Forrester who won the party's nomination.[8] Forrester won the primary with 44.6% of the vote, Allen came in second with 36.9%, ahead of third-place finisher John J. Matheussen who garnered 18.6% of the vote.[9]

Allen was a television anchor and reporter for KYW-TV from 1976 to 1978, and again from 1982 to 1988[10] and at WCAU-TV from 1989 to 1994, both in Philadelphia.[11] She also worked at WLS-TV in Chicago from 1979 to 1982.

Allen received a B.A. from Bucknell University in Philosophy. She is the President of VidComm, Inc.[1] She is currently a resident of Edgewater Park Township.[12]

In 2007, Allen won re-election. She was unopposed in the Republican primary and defeated Democratic challenger Rich Dennison of Florence in the November general election.[13][14][15]

Allen was considered a potential candidate for the New Jersey's 3rd congressional district seat being vacated by fellow Republican Jim Saxton in the 2008 election.[16] However, she announced on November 29, 2007, that she would not run for the seat, citing factionalism in the Burlington County Republican Party in her statement.[17]

On November 9, 2009, Allen announced that she has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.[18] Allen had been informed in November 2009 that she had oral cancer. Though doctors had initially thought that treatment would require removal of her tongue and that she would be unable to speak normally, the surgery performed in 2010 did not greatly impair her speech, and she has since undergone radiation and laser treatments.[19]

The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia inducted Allen into their Hall of Fame in 2005.[20]

Allen, and her husband, Sam, are members of Mt. Laurel Friends Meeting and Moorestown Friends Meeting, where she currently serves on the Ministry Committee.[citation needed]

District 7[edit]

Each of the 40 districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 7th Legislative District for the 2016–2017 Legislative Session are:[21]

Election history[edit]

New Jersey State Senate elections, 2013[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Diane Allen (incumbent) 38,350 60.4
Democratic Gary Catrambone 25,106 39.6
Republican hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Diane Allen (incumbent) 27,011 57.0
Democratic Gail Cook 20,370 43.0
Republican hold


  1. ^ a b c Senator Allen's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  2. ^ "Back from surgery for oral cancer, Diane Allen still has a lot to say". Inside Jersey. Retrieved March 1, 2011. Allen grew up in Moorestown, a Burlington County town that was established as a Quaker enclave in the 1600s. Born to an engineer father and homemaker mother, Allen remembers stuffing envelopes as a kid for Republican candidates. Her foray into politics came in the early 1970s, when she ran for the Moorestown school board. 
  3. ^ "General Returns for the Office of General Assembly for Election Held November 7, 1995" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. December 4, 1995. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  4. ^ Pristin, Terry. "New Jersey Daily Briefing;$1 Million Campaign Costs", The New York Times, March 13, 1996. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  5. ^ Staff. "Assembly Campaign Spending rises, especially in South Jersey. The Most Expensive Race Cost $1.5 million. A watchdog group says '93 Reforms didn't do the job.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 14, 1996. Accessed June 22, 2010. "The District 7 race in Burlington and Camden Counties, eventually won by the Republican ticket of Diane Allen and Carmine DeSopo, was the most expensive in the state, totaling $1.5 million, according to Upmeyer's analysis of campaign finance reports."
  6. ^ Petersen, Melody. "The 1997 Elections: The Legislature; After Intense Fight, Republicans Fend Off Challenges to Their Majority in State Senate", The New York Times, November 5, 1997. Retrieved June 20, 2010.
  7. ^ Staff. "Diane Allen inducted as Chair of the National Foundation for Women Legislators", Burlington County Times, March 17, 2014. Accessed December 4, 2016.
  8. ^ Mercurio, John. "GOP, Democrats tout primary victories", CNN, June 5, 2002. Accessed May 267, 2010. "In New Jersey, Doug Forrester, a wealthy businessman, spent $3.1 million of his own money to defeat fellow Republicans Diane Allen and John Matheussen -- both state senators -- in the race to challenge Democratic Sen. Bob Torricelli , who faced charges of ethical violations during his first six-year term."
  9. ^ "Official List Candidates for US Senate For June 2002 Primary Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. July 23, 2002. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  10. ^ KYW-TV News Alumni at the Wayback Machine (archived October 25, 2009), KYW-TV. Retrieved July 6, 2006.
  11. ^ WCAU-TV News Alumni at the Wayback Machine (archived October 25, 2009), WCAU. Retrieved July 6, 2006.
  12. ^ Senator Diane B. Allen, Project Vote Smart. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
  13. ^ Reitmeyer, John. "Candidates for state Assembly, Senate and county offices file for June primary" Archived 2007-07-17 at WebCite, Burlington County Times, April 10, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2007.
  14. ^ June 5, 2007 Primary Election Results at the Wayback Machine (archived April 25, 2008), Burlington County, New Jersey. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
  15. ^ 7th Dist: Allen holds on to Senate seat, The Star Ledger, November 6, 2007
  16. ^ Saxton, citing his health, to retire after this term, The Star Ledger, November, 2007
  17. ^ Allen says she won't run for Congress[permanent dead link], Burlington County Times, November 29, 2007[dead link]
  18. ^ Hester, Sr., Tom. "State Senator Diane Allen diagnosed with aggressive cancer", NewJerseyNewsroom.com, November 9, 2009. Accessed January 26, 2012.
  19. ^ Staff. "Back from surgery for oral cancer, Diane Allen still has a lot to say", The Star-Ledger, August 17, 2010. Accessed January 26, 2012. "When state Sen. Diane Allen found out last November that she had late-stage oral cancer, doctors at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital told her they probably would have to remove a large portion of her tongue, leaving her unable to use her voice normally ever again."
  20. ^ "The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia - Diane Allen". Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. 2005. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  21. ^ Legislative Roster 2016-2017 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed December 4, 2016.
  22. ^ "Official List Candidates for State Senate For GENERAL ELECTION 11/05/2015 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. December 4, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  23. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed January 7, 2012.

External links[edit]

New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
Jack Casey
Member of the New Jersey Senate for the 7th District
January 13, 1998–present
Succeeded by
New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Steven Petrillo
George E. Williams
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly for the 7th District
January 9, 1996–January 13, 1998
With: Carmine DeSopo
Succeeded by
Herb Conaway
Jack Conners