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Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp. (Photo: Wyatt Earp).

Earp hopeful about Democrats’ chances at ousting Smith

New Jersey’s lone GOP congressman seeking 21st term

By Nikita Biryukov, August 08 2019 5:00 pm

Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp thinks Rep. Chris Smith, the lone Republican member of the state’s congressional delegation, could lose his seat in 2020.

“I would be very hopeful,” Earp said. “I think it’s an uphill battle, but I know there’s a lot of interest.”

Last year, Smith held his seat amidst a wave of Democratic victories in districts that Republicans had held for years or, in some cases, decades.

New Jersey’s longest-serving congressman beat Democratic challenger Josh Welle by a little more than 36,000 votes in 2018 to win a 20th term in Congress.

Earp is hoping that Democratic enthusiasm that largely passed over the fourth congressional district last year can help push a Democratic victory in 2020, when President Donald Trump, the main driver of Democrats’ enthusiasm, comes up for re-election.

“They say one of the things when people get excited, teams catch fire,” Earp said. “None of the players change, but the teams catch fire.”

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