Born in California and educated at Harvard and the Princeton Theological Seminary, Mr. Forrester briefly considered becoming a minister. He dabbled for a while in public service, working as a council member and mayor of tiny West Windsor, N.J., from 1979 to 1983 and as state pension director under Gov. Thomas H. Kean. Mr. Forrester did not flourish, however, until he entered the business world. In 1990, he founded Benecard Services, a company that manages pharmacy benefits. While Mr. Forrester will not reveal its precise value, a financial disclosure form filed in 2002 indicated that his 51 percent stake in the company was worth more than $50 million dollars. That wealth helped Mr. Forrester win over wary Republicans in 2002, when he reentered New Jersey politics as suddenly as an unexpected guest. He spent $3 million to win the primary for United States Senate and was poised to pull off the unlikely feat of defeating the incumbent, Robert G. Torricelli, who was troubled by ethics questions. But six weeks before Election Day, Democrats replaced Mr. Torricelli with retired Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, and when the State Supreme Court allowed the candidate swap to stand - even though it took place after the deadline for placing candidates on the ballot - he went on to defeat Mr. Forrester.