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A Yale University-educated human rights advocate and former foreign officer who once interned for U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4) now plans to seek the 2020 Democratic nomination to run against New Jersey’s only Republican in Congress.
Stephanie Schmid of Little Silver, a 39-year-old attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights and a N.J. native, plans a formal campaign launch on Sept. 7th.
First sworn in as a United States Foreign Services Officer in 2011, she spent seven years working for the U.S. State Department – including as a political officer in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and in a consular assignment in Brazil – before resigning rather than representing the country under the auspices of what she describes as the reproductive rights-attacking Trump Administration.
Even when she interned for Smith as aged 16, she realized she didn’t have the same values as the congressman.
“It’s personal,” she told InsiderNJ of her candidacy, for while Smith built a reputation as a human rights advocate, the pro-life congressional GOP veteran has been “woefully silent” during the Trump era, the challenger said.
“I can go toe-to-toe with him as an actual human rights advocate,” said Schmid, who bought a house in Little Silver in June. She has spent more time in the district, she said, than Smith, first elected to congress in 1980, who mostly resides in Virginia.
The only Republican left standing in the New Jersey congressional delegation, Smith last year defeated Democratic challenger Josh Welle 55-43%. Welle won’t run again this year, but the man he defeated for the nomination, tavern owner Jim Keady, appears poised to run again.
At the very least, Schmid will have company from those already-declared other Democrats in CD4: David Applefield of Red Bank, representative for special projects for The Financial Times Newspaper; Tiffany Kaszuba of Howell, vice-president of Cavarocchi, Ruscio, Dennis Associates LLC; and Christina Conforti of Ocean Grove, a holistic leader and business coach.
The human rights advocate appears highly energized and committed to a 2020 victory in a tough district for Democrats.