Former Asbury Park Councilman Jim Keady told the New Jersey Globe that he hasn’t decided if he will challenge Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) next year.
“No decision at the moment, thus, no timeline,” said Keady, who shut down his 2018 campaign account earlier this month.
Keady raised $290,908 for his congressional race last year, but lost the Democratic primary to the organization choice, former U.S. Navy officer Josh Welle.
The progressive activist has a strong following among grass-roots Democrats.
The race to take on Smith, who is seeking his 21st term in Congress, has already begun to take shape.
Stephanie Schmid, a former U.S. Department of State official 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.
Lobbyist Tiffany Kaszuba and former United Nations project manager Christine Conforti are also in the race to take on Smith.
If Smith wins re-election, he would set the record as the longest-serving congressman in New Jersey history.
With 21,635 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.