Update: Jenkins filed late, at 12:36 PM, showing a meager $10,950 raised since February, with $10,466 cash-on-hand and no contributions from the candidate.
Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Manchester) has raised $1,199,915 so far this cycle and has $335,997 cash-on-hand as he seeks his 22nd term in the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 4th district. He raised $168,133 during the second quarter of 2022.
Smith has $335,997 cash-on-hand after besting his Republican primary challenger by 21 percentage points and heads into the general election with a seemingly behemoth cash advantage over his Democratic challenger, newcomer Matt Jenkins.
Jenkins has not reported raising any money for his congressional run, the Federal Election Commission shows, even though he entered the race in February. He was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
In a short telephone interview, Jenkins seemed surprised that his campaign had not yet filed reports – “I though that had been done” – and said he didn’t know how much he has raise or what his cash-on-hand was.
“My guys are handling that,” he explained. At 11:02 AM, he promised to find out why his report wasn’t filed and let the New Jersey Globe know how much he’s raised, but that information has not yet been provided.
But the first-time candidate from Colts Neck, who has also not filed a personal financial disclosure with the Clerk of the House,” acknowledged that he’s had difficulty raising campaign funds.
“It’s been slow starting,” Jenkins said. “But money is starting to come in.”
Michael Crispi, a podcaster who moved to the 4th to take on Smith in the GOP primary with the help of veteran strategist Roger Stone, raised $176,857. A third candidate, retired FBI agent Steve Gray, who won 4% of the vote. Gray raised $113,978 – most of it from an $80,000 personal loan he made to his campaign, but he repaid himself $50,000 a few weeks before Election Day.
Smith, who first won a House seat in 1980, at age 27, when he ousted a 13-term incumbent, represents the most Republican district in the state. The Ocean-Monmouth seat has 76,557 more Republicans than Democrats and became more Republican in redistricting.
On January 3, 2021, Smith broke the record of Peter W. Rodino, Jr. (D-Newark) as the longest-serving congressman in New Jersey history. He will have served in the House for 42 years at the end of his current term, although five of the other eleven Members of Congress from New Jersey are older.
Earlier this year, Smith became the second most senior member of the House following the death of Rep. Don Young.
Hal Rogers, an 84-year-old Republican from Kentucky, succeeded Young as the Dean of the House. Rogers and Smith were both elected 1980, but because seniority for Members of Congress sworn in on the same day is done in alphabetical order, Rogers is considered more senior than Smith.
But Smith is 15 years younger than Rogers and will likely wind up as Dean of the House as long as he holds on to his solidly Republican seat in New Jersey’s 4th district.