Christine Marie Conforti, one of three Democrats competing in the primary to take on Congressman Chris Smith in the 4th Congressional District, blasted Stephanie Schmid, the establishment choice of the Monmouth and Ocean County Democrat organizations, for declining to participate in a debate hosted by The Asbury Park Press on facebook Wednesday.
Conforti said Schmid could not be trusted to be a leader in moments of crisis and thanked her other opponent, David Applefield, for modeling courage and integrity with her:
“Stephanie for New Jersey – How can we trust you to be a leader in moments of crisis??
“Of course, walking into an public interview in the middle of a pandemic and reckoning of our country’s systemic racism is uncomfortable. What do you think the job of Congressperson entails– easy conversations and decisions made in closed-door rooms with political consultants and donors?
“That’s certainly how you’re running your campaign. How can we trust your attitude and approach to governing will somehow change once nominated or elected?
“I’ll say it again: Actions speak louder than words. The people of our community deserve an authentic explanation about your willful choice NOT to show-up and stand up for whatever you believe in, at the exact time millions of people– and the majority of Democrats– are demanding transparency and accountability of our elected officials.
“Thank you David Applefield for modeling courage and integrity with me today. I genuinely look forward to being with you in deep conversation on the issues affecting the health and wellbeing of all people in our local community.”
During her closing remarks, Conforti said that Schmid’s campaign manager was watching the livefeed of the debate.
During a facebook/zoom meeting with Lauren Albrecht, Chair of the New Jersey Democratic LGBTQ Caucus and the Monmouth & Ocean County LGBTQ Caucus, the evening before the APP debate, Schmid said she looks forward to debating Congressman Smith.