Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) has raised $729,885 for his re-election campaign as he seeks to break the record as the longest serving congressman in New Jersey history.
Smith raised $169,066 during the 4th quarter of last year and has $514,816 cash-on-hand.
On January 3,2021, Smith is set to tie Rep. Peter W. Rodino’s record for the greatest number of years in the House. If he’s re-elected this year, he’ll break the record as soon as he takes the oath of office for his 21st term in Congress.
Smith’s warchest is nearly six times what the front runner for the Democratic nomination has banked, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Stephanie Schmid, a former U.S. Department of State official, has $88,117 cash-on-hand after $202,256 since entering the race last August.
Another candidate, former journalist David Applefield, has raised $212,104 – most of it from a personal loan – and has $137,141 in the bank. A third candidate, former United Nations staffer Christine Conforti, has not yet filed her FEC reports.
With 22,099 more Republicans than Democrats, the 4th is the only House district in New Jersey to become more Republican over the last decade. When the last map was drawn after the 2010 census, the district had 12,193 more Republicans than Democrats.
Smith was first elected to Congress in 1980, at age 27, after thirteen-term Rep. Frank B. Thompson, Jr. (D-Trenton) was indicted as part of the Abscam scandal. Smith won, 57%-41%, in a district that Ronald Reagan carried by three points.
Democrats thought they had a shot at beating Smith last year when Democrat Josh Welle raised $1.8 million, the often underestimated GOP congressman raised $1.5 million and won by 12 percentage points.
Smith was the lone Republican in the New Jersey congressional delegation for most of 2019. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) joined him when he switched parties last month.