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State Sen. Bob Smith

Smith not worried about primary challenges

‘Everybody’s welcome,’ senator says

By Nikita Biryukov, December 09 2019 3:43 pm

State Sen. Bob Smith isn’t worried about a primary challenge.

“Last primary challenge was 72-28,” he said. “Everybody’s welcome.”

Smith has faced challenges from the left on the local level before.

Earlier this year, Piscataway Democrats defeated challengers from the town’s progressive wing.

At the time, the senator predicted an unspoken armistice rather than all-out peace.

He said the two sides are both likely to work toward electing a Democratic president, but he demurred on whether he expected the progressives to attempt to reclaim the seats they lost then.

The senator’s role at the head of a Senate Select Committee conducting a review of the state’s tax incentive programs that progressives have criticized as being tailored to benefit South Jersey powerbroker George Norcross has drawn increased criticism from the left.

Rather than run from it, Smith said he’d welcome the challenge.

“Competition is good, so we’re hoping we have plenty of competition,” he said. “It makes you better.”

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