Keady’s Strong 4th Quarter Finish with Debate Moment that Defines ‘Fundamental’ Choice for Democrats:
“Wall Street isn’t the enemy” versus “We cannot simultaneously be the party of Wall Street and the party of working families.”
BELMAR, NJ – Democratic Congressional Candidate Jim Keady defined the ‘fundamental choice’ for Democrats voting in this year’s fourth district primary during the first candidate debate last night:
Welle: “Wall Street’s not the enemy; Pharma’s not the enemy.”
Keady: Tell the millions of families who lost their homes in 2008; the people who lost their pensions and 401(K)’s, and the people who lost millions of jobs that Wall Street is not the enemy.”
The three hour-long, town-hall style debate took place at the Beach Haus Brewery, sponsored by the Wall and Howell Democratic Committees. Democratic candidates Jim Keady, Joshua Welle, and Mike Keeling got the opportunity to explain why they are best equipped to lead the fight against Republican Congressman Chris Smith. While there were some issues of agreement among the candidates, the biggest disagreement came when Keady took issue with Welle’s defense of Wall Street.
“If voters want someone who defends Wall Street as their Congressman, they already have one in Congressman Chris Smith,” Keady for Congress Campaign Manager Ryan Hughes said after the debate. “Democrats were cheering Jim on because his campaign is about standing up and speaking out for everyone who is forgotten by those defending Wall Street, giant corporations, and the billionaires. Jim had done his whole life – from resigning his job in protest of an endorsement from a company accused of sweatshop abuses; to calling out Governor Christie for failing to get needed hurricane relief to families in the fourth district. That’s the type of clear alternative we must offer voters to win in November.”
In response to Welle’s desire to “build consensus” with Republicans (Timestamp 24:55 in the full video), Hughes added. “Such a desire may sound nice, until we see what Republicans want to do in terms of repealing health insurance reform, deregulating the big banks, and wanting to drill for oil off the Jersey Shore – on these issues, we can’t afford consensus.”
At times, Well’s attacks on Keady even turned personal. In one instance, he made a dig at Keady’s lifelong activism both in the district and beyond, calling it a “drop in the bucket.” But, instead of mudslinging with his Democratic opponents, Keady, taking the advice of former First Lady, Michelle Obama, refused to go low. He instead redirected the fight back to the incumbent Republican by highlighting the fact that Congressman Chris Smith has spent more time in the District of Columbia than he has in the district that elected him and that Smith hasn’t held a town hall in decades. (Link here)
Keady ended the debate on heels of a strong end-of-quarter FEC filing, bringing his total fundraising haul to $150,000, adding more than half of that in the 4th quarter ($80,000), largely from smaller contributions from people in the district and the state. At the end of the night, even his Democratic opponent, Mr. Keeling, admitted he would give money to Keady too if he weren’t in the race.
The entire debate can be watched here.
Jim Keady is a lifelong Jersey Shore resident, born and raised in Belmar. Jim is a father, theologian, educator, and small business owner. He is also a former City Councilman in Asbury Park and is running New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District seat to stand up and speak out for 4th District residents, and replace current Congressman Chris Smith, who has lived in Northern Virginia for 37 years. Jim currently resides in Spring Lake, where he is raising his 9-year old daughter.