Roger Stone will direct a primary challenge against a 21-term Republican congressman in New Jersey in a race that could pit an incumbent backed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy against a candidate who says he’s answering Donald Trump’s call.
Stone confirmed his role in the campaign of Mike Crispi, a conservative podcaster who announced his challenge to Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) on Monday, and dismissed the value of endorsements from McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Republican Conference Leader Elise Stefanik of Smith earlier today.
“Having the support of the Republican leadership is a decided negative in the Republican primary, even in New Jersey,” Stone told the New Jersey Globe. “Donald Trump has brought permanent change to the party.”
The 28-year-old Crispi says he’s backed Trump since 2015.
“The people of this district deserve better than Chris Smith. He has been in Congress for over 40 years,” Crispi said in an announcement video.
Stone’s role in Crispi’s campaign was first reported by Save Jersey.
Smith, 68, was elected to Congress in 1980 after ousting thirteen-term House Administration Committee Chairman Frank Thompson (D-Trenton). Thompson was under indictment for his role in the Abscam scandal.
Crispi is now the fifth candidate to enter the race against Smith in the 4th district, which become more solidly Republican under a new congressional map approved last month.
Rev. Shawn Hyland, the former executive director of the Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey, switched from a bid to challenge Kim to a primary against Smith after his hometown in Ocean County was redistricted.
Four other Republicans are already challenging Smith: Englishtown Councilman Daniel Francisco, realtor and U.S. Army veteran Mike Blasi, David Burg, a former head of litigation for NBCUniversal, and perennial candidate Tricia Flanagan. Englishtown is now in the 3rd district.
“Every day we watch as swamp monsters, career politicians and unelected insiders work together to fundamentally alter the America we know and love for their own personal gain,” Crispi said. “We watch as they tell us they are working for us and then turn around to sell out our country, sell out our future, and erode the true meaning of the American dream.”
Crispi said that the nation had “the greatest economy in the history of the world under President Trump.”
“But sleepy Joe Biden and the DNC stole the 2020 election and sent us into a tailspin that has resulted in senseless pain, suffering and hardships for the average American citizen,” he stated.