Joshe Welle launched the first ad of his campaign on Tuesday, one largely aimed at introducing him to a district that has held Rep. Chris Smith in his seat for almost 38 years.
The two-minute-long online spot follows broadly follows Welle through a day on the campaign trail while leaving some time for the candidate to tout his 13-year tenure in the U.S. navy and jab Smith over his storied lack of town-hall style meetings with the district’s voters.
“I’m going against a guy who’s been in office 38 years. I’m 38 years old,” Welle says in the ad. “We have a congressman here in central jersey who hasn’t done a town hall in 25 years.”
The ad immediately compounds Smith’s lack of discourse with the district’s voters by showing a staffer canvassing with Welle touting the challenger’s comparatively packed town hall schedule.
Smith has not held a town hall since at least 2010, though in February, the Asbury Park Press livestreamed an editorial board meeting to which voters submitted questions.
The broad ad also touches on a number of Welle’s policy stances.
Though it does not mention them outright, the ad heavily implies that Welle supports gun control and affordable healthcare. Though the messages are somewhat tame, stopping short of calls for universal healthcare made by some of the state’s other Democratic candidates.
That’s likely a smart move given the makeup of the district and its long history of electing a Republican congressman.
Welle is also shown giving outright support to funding planned parenthood.
“For the first time in 38 years you’re going to have a leader in Congress who will fund planned parenthood and protect a woman’s right to choose,” he says.
The campaign plans to air similar, likely shorter, ads on television in the coming days.