Chris Smith hasn’t held a town hall in 25 years. He claims it’s because people are mean to him, and is pushing this narrative as an excuse not to debate his opponent Josh Welle.

But this is nonsense. A debate would be a controlled environment, with a moderator, and no scary interactions with constituents. So what is Smith afraid of?

Perhaps he’s afraid to be asked why he considers LGBT people less than human. Welle believes in equal rights for everyone. Perhaps he’s afraid of being asked why he doesn’t want women to control their own bodies. Welle believes these choices are for women to make themselves.

Maybe he doesn’t want to be asked why he voted for concealed carry reciprocity in 2011, allowing anyone with a concealed carry permit from states with weak or no background checks to carry a concealed weapon in NJ. Welle believes in universal background checks, banning assault rifles and high capacity magazines, and keeping firearms away from domestic abusers.

I’m sure he doesn’t want anyone asking why he said the ACA was “a crippling blow to both healthcare in America and our economy,” that “there is no doubt whatsoever that senior citizens and disabled persons will lose certain health benefits they now enjoy,” that “it kills” the unborn, or that the Medicaid expansion was “…threatening the participation of physicians in the program,”


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Yet in 2017, Smith voted to preserve the ACA, citing the importance of the Medicaid expansion, and despite his lifelong anti-abortion crusade.

I’d have a hard time explaining all this too. But it’s Smith’s job. If he can’t explain, he needs a new one.

Greg DeLuca 
Robbinsville, NJ


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Avatar of Allan Dean

Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...