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Democratic House candidate Tiffany Kaszuba

Kaszuba exits race to challenge Chris Smith

Five Democrats remain in NJ-4 contest

By David Wildstein, December 03 2019 1:24 pm

Tiffany Kaszuba has dropped out of the race for the Democratic congressional nomination in the 4th district.

The Washington lobbyist had returned home to New Jersey earlier this year to launch a bid to unseat 20-term Rep. Christopher Smith (R-New Jersey).

Her withdrawal leaves five Democrats still competing for the chance to take on New Jersey’s only Republican congressman:  former State Department official Stephanie Schmid, former Asbury Park Councilman Jim Keady, former journalist David Applefield, former United Nations staffer Christine Conforti, and financial analyst Hassan Shahadeh.

Kaszuba reported in October that she had raised $17,304 during the third quarter of 2019.

She was a vice president at Cavarocchi Ruscio Dennis, a Washington lobbying firm, from 2011 until earlier this year.

If Smith wins re-election, he would set the record as the longest-serving congressman in New Jersey history.

With 21,686 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 Welle raised $1.8 million, the often underestimated GOP congressman raised $1.5 million and won by 12 percentage points.

Schmid, a former intern in Smith’s Washington office who left her post as U.S. Foreign Policy Counsel to the Center for Reproductive Rights to run, has already raised over $100,000.  So has former journalist David Applefield, whose $134,494 is 89% self-funded.

This is Keady’s third run for the House.

He raised $290,908 to challenge Smith in 2018, but lost the Democratic primary to Josh Welle by 4,223 votes, 57%-43%.

In 2016, he ran in the neighboring 3rd district, where Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-Toms River) was seeking a second term.  He lost the primary to Frederick LaVergne by a 63%-37% margin.

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