The dean of the New Jersey congressional delegation, Rep. Chris Smith (R-Hamilton), has $600,732 cash-on-hand, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Smith, who is seeking re-election to his 20th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, raised $255,935 in the first quarter of 2018, bringing his total fundraising haul for the cycle so far to $567,471. He spent $43,432 in the first three months of 2018.
Pundits say that Smith is the safest of the three Republican Congressmen seeking re-election this year – the Cook Political Report has Smith has the seat as solidly Republican – but Democrats are impressed by Josh Welle, an Annapolis graduate and retired Navy officer who is running against Smith. Welle still needs to get through a Democratic primary against former Asbury Park Councilman Jim Keady.
Elected in 1980 at age 27 after a 13-term incumbent was indicted in the Abscam scandal, the 65-year-old Smith has been re-elected eighteen times.