Chris Smith has raised $1.2 million so far. Now he’s facing a Democrat who doesn’t know how much he’s raised
Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Manchester) has raised $1,199,915 so far this cycle and has $335,997 in cash as he seeks his 22nd term in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 4th District from New Jersey. It raised $168,133 during the second quarter of 2022.
Smith has $335,997 in cash after beating his main Republican challenger by 21 percentage points and heads into the general election with a seemingly huge cash advantage over his Democratic challenger, newcomer Matt Jenkins.
Jenkins did not report raising money for his congressional run, according to the Federal Election Commission, even though he entered the race in February. He was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
In a short phone interview, Jenkins seemed surprised his campaign hadn’t filed any reports yet – “I thought it had been done” – and said he didn’t know how much raise he had or what was his cash.
“My guys are taking care of it,” he explained. At 11:02 a.m., he promised to find out why his report hadn’t been filed and let the New Jersey Globe know how much he had collected, but that information has yet to be provided.
But the first-time candidate from Colts Neck, who also failed to file a personal financial disclosure statement with the Clerk of the House,” acknowledged that he had struggled to raise campaign funds.
“It’s been a slow start,” Jenkins said. “But the money is starting to come in.”
Michael Crispi, a podcaster who moved to 4th to take on Smith in the GOP primary with the help of veteran strategist Roger Stone, raised $176,857. A third candidate, retired FBI agent Steve Gray, who received 4% of the vote. Gray raised $113,978 — most of it through an $80,000 personal loan he took out for his campaign, but he paid off $50,000 a few weeks before Election Day.
Smith, who first won a House seat in 1980 at age 27 when he ousted a 13-term incumbent, represents the most Republican district in the state. The Ocean-Monmouth seat has 76,557 more Republicans than Democrats and became more Republican during the redistricting.
On January 3, 2021, Smith broke Peter W. Rodino, Jr. (D-Newark)’s record as the longest serving congressman in New Jersey history. He will have served in the House for 42 years by the end of his current term, although five of New Jersey’s other 11 congressmen are older.
Earlier this year, Smith became the second-longest-serving member of the House following the death of Rep. Don Young.
Hal Rogers, an 84-year-old Republican from Kentucky, succeeded Young as Dean of the House. Both Rogers and Smith were elected in 1980, but since seniority of congressmen sworn in on the same day is alphabetized, Rogers is considered senior to Smith.
But Smith is 15 years younger than Rogers and will likely become Dean of the House as long as he holds onto his solidly Republican seat in New Jersey’s 4th District.