Smith, Kiley, Healey win Monmouth GOP convention

February 12, 2022

New Jersey Globe

By David Wildstein

21-term congressman wins 68% for organization line against challenger

The Monmouth County Republican organization lines for Congress will go to Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) in the 4th district, Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley in the 6th, and Robert Healey, Jr. in the 3rd.

Smith scored a lopsided victory at the Monmouth County Republican convention with 67% of the vote, defeating conservative podcaster Michael Crispi, 108 to 54.  

In the race to take on Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch), Kiley easily defeated 2020 U.S. Senate candidate Rik Mehta with 63% of the convention vote, 57-33.

Thomas Toomey, a former Republican National Committee staffer, did not qualify to be on the Monmouth convention ballot. 

Healey defeated realtor Nicholas Ferrara, 55 to 11 (83%-17%).  He faces a tough primary against Ian Smith, the owner of the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr and a prominent critic of Gov. Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 policies, but Smith did not seek the organization line.  The winner will take on Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown). 

Smith is seeking re-election to his 22nd term representing New Jersey’s 4th district in the U.S. House of Representatives.  He won the unanimous endorsement of the Ocean County GOP screening committee on Thursday.

The newly-drawn 3rd district no longer includes Ocean County.  It now extends to Hamilton, Lawrence, East Windsor and Hightstown in Mercer, and parts of western Monmouth.

Roger Stone had attended the convention in support of Crispi.

Monmouth Republicans also unanimously endorsed Sheriff Shaun Golden and County Commissioners Tom Arnone and Nick DiRocco for re-election. 

Four other 4th district candidates – Englishtown Councilman Daniel Francisco, attorney David Burg, retired police officer Michael Blasi, 2021 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Gregg Mele, and perennial purported candidate Tricia Flanagan, did not file petitions to participate in the convention process.  As is her custom, Flanagan is late filing campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission.   She had not yet filed her fourth quarter 2021 report that was due on January 31.