Date: October 10, 2018

Contact: Aubrey Fink, Communications Director



(Eatontown, NJ) – Today, the Welle campaign announced that 38-year incumbent Chris Smith has finally agreed to debate NJ-4 Democratic challenger Josh Welle. This announcement comes shortly after NJ TV released their schedule of debates for the 2018 midterm election. Notably, every incumbent facing a challenger had accepted other than Representative Smith.

“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.”

The Welle campaign has made repeated calls for Representative Smith to come to New Jersey. Welle requested three debates with Representative Smith after winning the Democratic primary in June, and despite numerous visits to Smith’s offices, several letters, and an online petition numbering over a thousand signatures, there has been complete silence from the Smith campaign. However, with less than 30 days until the election, and with the Welle campaign repeatedly breaking fundraising records in what is considered a solidly Republican district, Smith finally appears to be taking the threat Welle poses to his incumbency seriously.

News 12: taped Wednesday, October 17, in-studio 


Josh Welle is running for Congress to put country over party. He is an Annapolis graduate, Afghanistan veteran, Commander in the Navy Reserve, and former founder of a technology company. He was raised in Wall Township and is a Democratic candidate for New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District competing to unseat 38-year incumbent Chris Smith. Josh lives with his wife, Angela, in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

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