House Speaker Newt Gingrich has endorsed Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) for re-election in New Jersey’s 4th district, providing key conservative support as the New Jersey Republican seeks his 22nd term in the Congress.
“I am proud to endorse Congressman Chris Smith, an effective lawmaker who works in the trenches every day to protect democracy, religious liberty, individual freedom, entrepreneurship, growth and prosperity,” Gingrich said. “We need Chris Smith’s vision, experience, and outstanding leadership, now more than ever to defeat the Big Government Socialist agenda.”
Smith and Gingrich served together for 18 years and Smith supported Gingrich as he moved up the ranks of leadership to lead the first Republican majority in the House in 38 years.
“Chris is a frontline veteran of the Reagan revolution and fought with me for the Contract with America, bringing conservative principles and leadership to the US Congress,” Gingrich said. “He fights hard for his constituents at home and to defend American values abroad.”
Smith also won the backing of former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Callista Gingrich.
“Smith is widely respected for his work to combat human trafficking and to defend fundamental human rights,” she said. ““It has been an honor to work with him on these critical issues. I am delighted to endorse Chris as he seeks re-election.”
The endorsements of Newt and Callista Gingrich come as Smith faces five opponents in the June Republican primary: Englishtown Councilman Daniel Francisco; attorney David Burg; U.S. Army veteran Mike Blasi; perennial candidate Tricia Flanagan; and conservative podcaster Mike Crispi, who has the backing of former Trump advisor Roger Stone. A sixth candidate, Rev. Shawn Hyland, the former executive director of the Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey, dropped out of the race last week and endorsed Smith.
The 4th district become more Republican under a new congressional redistricting map approved last year and a victory in the GOP primary is likely to be tantamount to election. Smith’s hometown, Hamilton., was moved into the next-door third district, where Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) is seeking his third term. Smith moved to Hamilton in 1982 after redistricting put his hometown into a Middlesex County-based district.
Smith, 68, was first elected to Congress in 1980 in an upset against 13-term Rep. Frank Thompson, Jr. (D-Trenton). He is now the longest-serving congressman in New Jersey history.
He’s seeking re-election with the support of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, and Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik.
“Both Callista and Newt have made remarkable contributions to our Nation through their hard work and effective public service,” Smith said. “I am grateful for their support and look forward to continuing to work with them to defend America and ensure our nation is safe, secure, prosperous and free.”
The Gingrich endorsement was first reported by Save Jersey.