CD4 Flashpoint: Keady Goes After Welle on Residency with Debate Performance Mash-up

Irritated by Democratic Primary rival Josh Welle’s fumbling debate answers on the issue of residency in CD4, the campaign of Jim Keady of Belmar assembled a series of appearances from those occasions in which Welle appears to contradict himself on the subject.

In one of those debate performances in the compilation, a seemingly frustrated Welle tells a crowd in response to a woman’s question that his residency is “none of your business.”

As Welle emphasizes military service that put him in various hot spots around the globe, Keady points out that Democrats will be better positioned in November with a candidate who can provide a hard contrast on precisely the issue of residency to U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4), who maintains a Virginia address.

Keady and his campaign see Welle’s bumbling as a problem, and possibly an insurmountable problem.

“The video speaks volumes,” said Keady Campaign Manager Ryan Hughes. “When you give a different  response to the same question four different times, that’s a problem.

“I think it’s an easy question to answer and he hasn’t answered it,” he added.

Does Hughes think a simple question about residency is appropriate for a congressional candidate?

“Absolutely,” he said. “At all times. We have a current congressman who’s been there for 37 years who rarely visits the state let alone the district he’s supposed to represent. If you’re running for congress you need to be prepared to answer simple questions like where you live. That’s pretty basic. We honor and respect Josh’s service to our country but this is a very simple question to answer.”

But Welle and his campaign manager Mike Bland, hitting back today, objected to Keady – of all people – attempting to occupy the moral high ground on the residency question.

“Embarrassing,” said Bland.

Welle’s a veteran, he pointed out.

Welle served for 13 years active duty and entered the Navy Reserve in 2015 as a commander.

He grew up in the District, graduated from Wall High School, has family in Red Bank, and bought a house in Lake Como in 2004 that he just sold in order to purchase another Rumson residence, which he and his wife plan to occupy in March.

“My home was wherever the Navy sent me,” the combat veteran told InsiderNJ. “And wherever I was, I was thinking about my family back in Red Bank.”

Bland pointed out that Keady is the more unsettled candidate.

“You’re going to come out against a veteran when you’re the same guy who ran in CD3 last year,” said the campaign manager.

“Look when he gets elected, Josh is going to be in D.C. working his ass off, and we’re going to be in this district every single weekend,” Bland added. “We can’t hold one of our veterans criminal. Josh is a public servant.”

Following his retirement from the Navy, Welle started a software company in the D.C. area, ran it for two years, then moved back to this area, where he grew up, where he owns property and has family, because he again felt called to serve, this time as a congressman.

“The Trump moment really shocked me,” he said. “We need to answer the call again. I spent time helping Vin Gopal, and Eric [Houghtaling] and Joann [Downey] and saw what was happening here. I voted in the district in November.”

He said he and his wife are excited to give up their rental property and move into their new home, which he purchased in June.

The latest flare-up between the two men was but another example of a hard-fought contest, with Keady – a social justice activist – at every turn emphasizing his progressive credentials and Welle standing – for the most part – on his accomplished Navy record.


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17 responses to “CD4 Flashpoint: Keady Goes After Welle on Residency with Debate Performance Mash-up”

  1. Welle’s campaign is missing the point. The inconsistency and defensiveness in his answers are the issue. I could care less where he lives, as long as he is committed to representing this district. Welle’s residency should be a straightforward answer. Yet instead he deflects, scolds the audience, and (as he does for every question) leans back on his military experience.

  2. This concerns me, too. He seems to own a lot of houses, yet he is renting a home right now? I’m confused. If he doesn’t win the nomination/election, will he return to VA? This is an issue considering that for years and years, out congressman has not lived in our district.

    • The answer is, he will return to Va and run his neocon military industrial complex software company. Is there any doubt this is a self centered elitist?

    • Newsflash……..Just about everyone in the congress owns multiple properties and has residences in VA or the surrounding areas. This has only been going on for the last 200 years. The only time that pelosi ever went back to san francisco was when the government paid for her “private use” AF plane, then she went home every weekend.

  3. Welle constantly tries to play up he’s some big hero. He manned a supply ship providing logistical support for the real heroes….the boys on the front line, some of whom came home missing arms and legs. The Afgan navy is made up to two guys in a row boat. Welle is a whiny rich kid and ya wanna know the truth, he’s a little baby. I’m shocked the Navy would even take such a physically unimposing guy as Welle.

    • He is a veteran, nonetheless. Without the support of those supply ships, “real heroes” like yourself, wouldn’t last a day.

      • You mean a ‘hero like you,’ don’t you pal! You think its funny men loses limbs on the front line….

        • ooooooooh. A tough keyboard commando. I’m shaking. I wish that you were with me up on “the Z” back in1968 so you could’ve held my gland for me.

          • Just what we need. An 80 year old tough guy with a penis fixation! You were never in Vietnam tinkerbell.

          • Tee-hee, snowflake. You’re just a jealous scrote that talks shlt behind a keyboard. I know what I did and when I did it which is more than anything that a peter puffer like yourself can ever claim. You’re the one that started with the “tough guy” rap, and insults, pussy lips. You can rest easy because you’re just an anonymous chickenshlt and I won’t bitch slap the shlt out of you.

  4. Since Mr. Welle has more or less just returned to NJ, perhaps he should start small such as a councilman or when he has children, a Board of Education member or a Boy Scout leader. To head right back to his Virginia home and DC, is a short hop for him, but not appreciated by those of us who already have a congressman who has been absent from NJ as long as Mr. Welle has. And, besides, Mr. Keady is just a much better informed candidate who knows District 4 and its concerns well.

  5. The richest man in congress at the time was frank guarini, D-Jersey City. He had lived in the Upper West Side of Manhattan for decades at the time and listed a store top apartment as his address in JC. He was elected and reelected for years. Ask any democrat in hudson county, “he was the best”.

  6. If Welle garners more votes in the primary, I’ll vote for him in the general, but he isn’t my first choice. The guy is certainly qualified to turn to politics, and I hope to see him succeed in the future, but I think he is trying to dive in too deep too soon, and it shows.

    The residency issue is actually an issue for what should be his base, as it has been a tag line for years about Smith, (though I would argue it hasn’t worked all that much). He should have known and prepared for those questions.

    To not know that shows he still has a lot to learn about the district, and to take palpable umbrage at requests for clarification shows he might need more political seasoning. I respect his bravery not just for his service, but also to run for such a large office on his first go. It’s still early days.

    It’s definitely a long way to go until June. If he’s wise, the last thing he will do is alienate the establishment crowd, because if he plans to distinguish himself in the primary, he needs to play the establishment alternative to Keady’s bold progressivism.

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