Home>Campaigns>Crispi creamed by Smith in 4th district GOP primary

Rep. Chris Smith. (Photo: U.S. Congressman Chris Smith).

Crispi creamed by Smith in 4th district GOP primary

Longtime incumbent prevails over several primary challengers as Jenkins wins uncontested

By Joey Fox, June 07 2022 9:04 pm

The New Jersey Globe projects that Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) has won the Republican primary in the 4th congressional district against several challengers, including Roger Stone-backed podcaster Mike Crispi. As of 10:53 p.m., Smith had 58% of the vote to Crispi’s 37%.

Smith, who would be the Dean of the House were it not for Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY)’s name coming earlier in the alphabet, has long been well-regarded in New Jersey’s Republican circles. Even though the 4th district was dramatically redrawn during congressional redistricting – Smith had to move just to remain within its new boundaries – the congressman had little trouble getting county party endorsements and raising money.

The energy to deny Smith renomination, on the other hand, came largely from outside New Jersey. After former President Donald Trump angrily called for a primary challenger to Smith in November 2021, a huge number of candidates announced their campaigns, with Crispi being the most prominent among them. (Most of the other candidates either dropped out or were kicked off the ballot, with only retired FBI agent Steve Gray staying in the race.)

Crispi got the backing of Stone as well as other Trumpworld figures like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and retired General Michael Flynn, but his fundraising didn’t take off and the promised endorsement from Trump never came.

Smith now faces Democrat Matt Jenkins, who won his own primary uncontested, in the general election. Given that the newly drawn 4th district regularly backs Republicans by huge margins, Jenkins has little chance of victory, and Smith should be set for his 22nd term in Congress.

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