Rev. Shawn Hyland, the former executive director of the Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey, will challenge Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) in the Republican primary after congressional redistricting commission moved his hometown into the 4th district.
An ordained minister from Ocean County, Hyland had announced in October that he would seek the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) in the 3rd district.
“Due to the gerrymandering of the Democrat party to intentionally disenfranchise voters and protect Progressive Caucus member Andy Kim from being held accountable for his inexcusable voting record, their congressional redistricting map pushed my family, and my extensive and diverse supporters into Districts 2 and 4,” Hyland said.
Smith’s hometown, Hamilton, was moved into the 3rd district. Smith told the New Jersey Globe on Wednesday that he will seek re-election in the 4th, which includes about 80% of municipalities he’s represented in the past.
Hyland thinks it’s time for someone new.
“Our nation and the Republican Party of today is different than the one that Chris Smith first represented 40 years ago,” he said. “It is time for new leadership and vision that can push back against the far left and their hold on (to) our institutions and culture.”
Four other Republicans are already challenging Smith: Englishtown Councilman Daniel Francisco, realtor and U.S. Army veteran Mike Blasi, David Burg, a former head of litigation for NBCUniversal, and perennial cadidate Tricia Flanagan. Englishtown is now in the 3rd district.
“My service among the communities in Ocean and Monmouth counties spans many years,” Hyland said. “Therefore, my family and I have decided to continue my fight for a better America as a candidate for U.S. Congress in District 4.”