Republican Christopher Smith will face Democrat Josh Welle in his bid to win re-election to a 20th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Welle defeated former Asbury Park councilman Jim Keady by a 57%-43% margin in his first bid for public office.
The Annapolis graduate and retired U.S. Navy officer won the endorsements of the Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer county Democratic organizations.
In Monmouth, Welle won 58-42%, with a plurality of 2,930 votes. He carried Ocean County by 895 votes, 47%-43%. The Mercer results were not immediately available.
Of the Republican-held House seats, Smith’s is the least likely to fall. But earlier this year, Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray suggested that even the 4th district seat could be in play.