Bob Franks, 58, who served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1990s as a Republican from northern New Jersey, died Friday of cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

He was a powerful figure in New Jersey's resurgent Republican Party, and twice served as the state's GOP chairman and as a congressional campaign manager. He spent 14 years in the state legislature, as a protege of Gov. Thomas Kean, before being elected to Congress from New Jersey's 7th District in 1992.

Franks was fiscally conservative and socially liberal, favoring abortion rights. He was a member of the House Transportation Committee and supported overhauling campaign finance rules.

In 2000, Franks narrowly lost a race for the U.S. Senate against Jon Corzine, who heavily outspent him. Franks lost a bid for the Republican nomination for governor in 2001.

- The Washington Post

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