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Josh Welle. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Welle endorses Schmid for Congress

Democrat lost to Smith by 12 points in 2018

By David Wildstein, March 01 2020 11:04 am

Josh Welle, who won 43% of the vote against Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) in 2018, has endorsed Stephanie Schmid for the Democratic nomination to take on Smith this year in New Jersey’s 4th district.

“Stephanie has the background and expertise to finally bring a new generation of leadership to this district, which is long overdue,” said Welle. “Her work as a Foreign Service Officer in the State Department and human rights advocate at the Center for Reproductive Rights stands in stark contrast to Chris Smith’s record and makes her the best candidate to take him on.”

Schmid faces former journalist David Applefield and former United Nations staffer Christine Conforti in the Democratic primary.

Smith is seeking his 21st term in the U.S. House of Representatives.  If he wins, Smith will set a record in January as the longest-serving congressman in New Jersey history.  The current record is held by Peter Rodino (D-Newark), who retired in 1988 after 40 years as a congressman.

A press release from the Schmid campaign contained a factual error, claiming that Welle came closer to unseating Smith than any other Democratic challenger. 

In 1982, former Senate President Joseph Merlino (D-Trenton) came within six percentage points of ousting Smith.  Welle lost by more than twice that.

Still, Schmid praised Welle’s campaign.

“Running against someone who has held a seat for 39 years is no easy feat, and I know that my candidacy is made stronger by the work Josh put in,” Schmid said.

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