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Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Welle, Smith to meet for single debate

Challenger wants more

By Nikita Biryukov, October 10 2018 1:31 pm

Rep. Chris Smith and Josh Welle will meet for a debate on News12 NJ next Wednesday.

The debate is the only one scheduled for the district’s candidates.

“I’m pleased to know Chris Smith is going to debate after more than a thousand petition signatures and constituent requests. The voters of this district deserve leaders that respect them and listen,” Welle said. “I’d suggest a next step would be that Smith host a town hall and actually meet with voters to hear their concerns directly, as I have been since last year. Apparently, it has taken a real threat from a Navy veteran to his 38-year political career to feel accountable to the people.”

Smith’s availability to his constituents has been a core tenant of the Welle campaign’s attacks against the longest-serving New Jersey congressman.

And while the debate will likely serve Welle better than the absence of the same, the challenger didn’t get everything he wanted.

Welle had sought three debates, but Smith’s camp has only agreed to one.

Smith’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment made at 12:35 p.m.

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