As expected, the Ocean County Democrats endorsed Joshua Welle over former Asbury Park Councilman Jim Keady for the nomination to challenge Congressman Chris Smith in the 4th Congressional District, at their Mini-Convention in Bayville this afternooon. InsiderNJ reports that Welle was the choice of 46 mini-delegates to Keady’s 16.
Welle will have the ‘party line’ on the June 5 primary ballot in both Ocean and Monmouth Counties. That means his name will be bracketed in the same ballot column as U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, each county’s freeholder candidates and the party endorsed municipal candidates. The Mercer County Dems have not yet awarded their endorsement. Hamilton and Robbinsville are the only Mercer County communities that are in CD-4.
Pat Politano, spokesman for Welle, called for Keady to drop out of the race, according to InsiderNJ.
“We appreciate the enthusiasm of Mr. Keady and his supporters,” Politano told InsiderNJ, “but it’s close to the time they consider the common goal of beating Chris Smith.”
Yesterday, Keady told MMM that he was committed to staying in the race through the primary. He hasn’t returned our calls today, but his spokesman echoed that message with InsiderNJ following the results in Bayville.
“Definitely,” Keady spokesman Ryan Hughes told InsiderNJ when asked if the candidate plans to stay in the contest. “Jim’s grassroots support in the 4th District is unprecedented for any Democrat in this district – or Republican, for that matter. Although we came up short in Ocean, we are looking forward to bringing this primary campaign to the doorsteps of every voter in the fighting 4th.”
Welle twice texted “Filed” to MMM today. Presumably that means that he filed his Financial Disclosure Form with the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Yesterday we reported that he is over four months delinquent in that filing, a violation of the Ethics in Government Act.
Welle’s Financial Disclosure Report has not yet been posted on the Clerk of the House of Representatives’ website. He has not responded to our request that the send it to MMM directly.