The National Organization for Women (NOW) has endorsed Democrat Stephanie Schmid for Congress in New Jersey’s 4th district against 20-term incumbent Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton).
“Stephanie’s experience protecting and advancing women’s rights at home and abroad as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and human rights attorney proves that she is the type of leader we need in federal office,” said Anjali Mehrotra, President of National Organization for Women of New Jersey. “We are thrilled to be able to replace Representative Chris Smith, who supports outlawing abortion outright and banning access to birth control, with Stephanie, who is a champion of reproductive rights.”
Schmid is the sixth woman to run against Smith, who unseated thirteen-term incumbent Frank Thompson, Jr. (D-Trenton) when he was 27-years-old in 1980. He defeated Betty Holland in 1988, Mary Brennan in 2002, Amy Vasquez in 2004, Carol Gay in 2006, and Lorna Phillipson in 2016.
Thompson was indicted as part of the Abscam scandal. Smith won, 57%-41%, in a district that Ronald Reagan carried by three points.
On January 3,2021, Smith is set to tie Rep. Peter W. Rodino’s record for the greatest number of years in the House. If he’s re-elected this year, he’ll break the record as soon as he takes the oath of office for his 21st term in Congress.
With 21,013 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.
The 4th is also the only congressional district in the state where Republicans outnumber Democrats.
Democrats thought they had a shot at beating Smith last year when Democrat Josh Welle raised $1.8 million, the often underestimated GOP congressman raised $1.5 million and won by 12 percentage points.
Smith was the lone Republican in the New Jersey congressional delegation for most of 2019. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) joined him when he switched parties last December.