Bob Franks (1951-) is a Republican politician and former U.S. Representative from New Jersey.
Franks was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, on September 21, 1951. He graduated from DePauw University in 1973 and from law school at Southern Methodist University in 1976. He served as an aide and campaign manager to several representatives and Governor Thomas Kean. He had been involved in Republican politics while growing up in Illinois, including the races of Charles Percy. As a teenager growing up in Summit, New Jersey he became involved with the Young Republicans and the Kean for Assembly races. He helped to found the Union County Young Republicans.
In 1980 he was elected to the New Jersey Assembly, where he served until being elected to the U.S. House in 1992. He served four terms in the House from 1993 to 2001. While he was a congressman, he was a member of the Transportation Committee and involved with transportation issues. He served two stints as chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee.
In 2000 he was the Republican candidate to the open Senate seat from New Jersey, but was defeated by Democrat Jon Corzine. In this race Franks was far outspent by Corzine, a former CEO by 48 million dollars, yet still was the closest the Republicans have ever come to winning a senate seat, since they last won one in 1972. He was defeated for the Republican nomination for New Jersey governor in 2001 by Bret Schundler. He entered the governor's race following the withdrawal of former Governor Donald DiFrancesco and it is believed this late start cost him the primary as Schundler had a big head start in campaigning and fundraising. Franks remains involved in New Jersey politics and is often mentioned as a potential candidate for high offices, since Tom Kean Jr. has been endorsed as the 2006 candidate for senate, many have speculated Franks could enter into a possible re-match with Jon Corzine for the governorship in 2009.
He currently serves as President of the Health Care Institute of New Jersey.