A Democratic candidate for Congress today slammed the Asbury Park Press for endorsing the Republican incumbent for re-election to a 20th term.
Josh Welle says the newspaper ignored his wartime military service and “falsely attacked his private section credentials” in an editorial endorsing Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) for re-election.
The editorial described Welle as a 12-year Naval veteran.
“For the APP to join Chris Smith and dismiss my service in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, try to discredit my private sector experience, and admonish my software company that I started with veterans is offensive,” Welle said.
Welle is referring to claim by the APP editorial board that a software company he ran after leaving the military closed in 2015.
“The company was dissolved after only two years. We’re not sure how Welle thinks that translates into an effective public servant,” the editorial said.
In a detailed response, Welle says that the APP “who should conduct responsible research and report truth, would demean a business started by veterans and suggest I lack integrity based on unsubstantiated blogs is disappointing.”
Welle says he’s been falsely accused over owing $130,000 in unpaid taxes on his business, saying the actual liability — $1,106.75 – has already been paid.
“I’d encourage readers to watch the editorial board, where the difference could not be more clear: Chris Smith is a career politician, part of a broken Congress, and believes he is entitled to the 4th District seat,” said Welle campaign manager Kim Maier. “Josh represents a new generation of leaders who will put country over party to get things done for Central Jersey.”
Randy Bergmann, the editorial page editor, did not immediately respond to a 1:31 PM call seeking comment.