New Jersey’s lone Republican congressman is in strong financial shape as he prepares to seek a record-setting 21st term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) has $416,711 cash-on-hand, the most he’s ever had in the 3rd quarter in the year before a congressional election. He raised $145,549 over the last three months, and $560,819 so far this year.
Smith’s total dollars raised is more than twice what he did at this point in the 2018 cycle and his warchest dwarfs the Democratic field in the only House district in New Jersey to become more Republican over the last decade.
Stephanie Schmid, a former U.S. Department of State official, has $78,895 in the bank, and former journalist David Applefield has $107,381. Tiffany Kaszuba, a lobbyist, has $14,440 cash-on-hand, while former United Nations project manager Christine Conforti has just $3,346 in her campaign account.
Democrats thought they had a shot at beating Smith last year when Democrat Josh Welle raised $1.8 million, the often underestimated Smith raised $1.5 million and won by 12 percentage points.
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.
Now 66, Smith is still younger than five other New Jersey House members, including freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis).
On January 2, 2021, Smith will tie Rep. Peter W. Rodino, Jr. (D-Newark) for the longest-serving congressman in New Jersey history. Rodino served from 1949 to 1989.
If he wins re-election next year, he would set the record for congressional service from New Jersey on January 3, 2021.
Smith became the only Republican in the New Jersey congressional delegation earlier this year after Democrats flipped four House seats in the 2018 mid-term elections.