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Competitive race for Congress shaping up in Monmouth, Ocean counties (Opinion)

or many years I've had great conversations both on and off-air with my friend, Congressman Chris Smith.

Unfortunately, over the past few months, those conversations have turned tense as Chris has made some votes and collected donations that caused a flurry of activity and launched several primary challenges.

On June 7, the 40+ year member of Congress will have a chance to defend his record and ask the voters for another shot at representing them for the next two years.

The field of challengers has thinned over the past couple of weeks with David Burg dropping out followed by Mike Blasi, who announced his campaign suspension on the morning show this week.

These two credible candidates have now paved the way for a two-man race between Smith and challenger Mike Crispi.

I've spoken at several town halls around the Central Jersey district with Mike and can tell you he is the real deal. Smart, articulate, driven, and focused on practical solutions for current problems.

Many people have asked me why I'm not supporting my friend Chris this year as I have for the past two decades. The answer is simple. Friendship cannot be an excuse to overlook principles of good government.

When I was in the Marine Corps and assigned to guard the armory, we were instructed that a Marine on duty has no family or friends that are above the mission. I've carried that idea into my political life and even when a friend strays, they have to be called out. For me, it was the infrastructure vote when Chris was among only a handful of Republican lawmakers to side with Pelosi and Biden.

The congressman's answer to my challenge following the vote was defensive, saying that New Jersey needs the money. The problem is that the several billion dollars that would be sent to New Jersey would be spent by the current administration in Trenton and you can be sure the trickle down to average people would be minimal.

Had Smith waited until the likely GOP majority in the House coming in 2022, the spending bill would have looked much different and had restrictions to prevent abuse at the state level.

The current spending plan supported by Smith is largely a funding mechanism for portions of the so-called "Green New Deal" and simply should have been opposed. Add in some donations that Crispi rightfully questioned and a vote to fund a vaccine database at the state level, it's no surprise that Smith drew a serious challenge.

For Smith's part, he is still a champion for the voiceless working tirelessly fighting against human trafficking and protecting the unborn. He stepped up to fight for service members who are being terminated for refusing the jab.

Part of the problem is that in order to protect the seat, Chris is working with some of the same people who have wrecked the GOP in Monmouth County, literally sacking good people in order to preserve their power.

This race is beyond whether or not Chris Smith is a solid member of Congress representing his constituents. This race is about the overall opposition in New Jersey. Opposition to those who push vaccine segregation and discrimination. Opposition to CRT and sexualized grade school lessons. Opposition to higher taxes. Opposition to morally bankrupt insiders keeping good people out of the process. Opposition to the elite insiders using the power of the backroom to protect their own regardless of how they vote and what they stand for.

This is about whether it's time for new blood in the Republican Party and in the 4th District specifically. The voters will decide on June 7 one way or another. I've offered to both candidates to come on the morning show and have a debate for our largest in the state audience. I'll keep you posted.

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