Mike Blasi has dropped out of the race against Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester), but his name will remain on ballot in the June 7 Republican primary in New Jersey’s 4th district.
Blasi said he doesn’t want to split the primary vote and deny one of the other candidates – conservative podcaster Mike Crispi or retired FBI agent Steve Gray – the chance to oust Smith, but he stops short at making an endorsement.
Voting is already underway in New Jersey, where county election officials commenced mailing military and overseas ballots on April 23.
“My love for District 4 and commitment to unseating Chris Smith are what led me into this race. These reasons are also why I have made the difficult decision to suspend my congressional campaign. I want to see progress on the issues that I know matter to the people of this district,” said Blasi, a realtor and U.S. Army veteran. “This race has never been about me. Having three candidates in the race guarantees Chris Smith an easy victory. As upsetting as this is, I will always do what is in the best interest of the people of District 4.
It’s not clear what impact Blasi’s late withdrawal will have on the race, if any.
Blasi has not raised much money and has little name recognition, so voters will be unlikely to know that’s he’s no longer a candidate.
Just before the April 4 filling deadline, another candidate, David Burg, dropped out of the race and endorsed Blasi.