Ex-Project Veritas operative announces primary challenge to Chris Smith

Ex-Project Veritas operative announces primary challenge to Chris Smith

Daniel Francisco is entering the NJ-04 Republican congressional primary. 

Francisco currently serves on the Englishtown borough council. He also spent time working for Project Veritas, the guerilla journalism outfit founded by Rutgers alum James O’Keefe. Veritas and Francisco parted ways after the future NJ-04 candidate filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination and breach of contract. The case ultimately ended in a settlement.

A Wednesday press release announcing his candidacy described the candidate as an “absolutist on firearms rights, individual sovereignty, and decentralization,” adding that Francisco hopes to “unseat a 21-term veteran of Congress whose record more closely resembles the statists on the other side of the aisle.”

Congressman Chris Smith (R, NJ-04), who has distinguished himself with an extensive body of work on pro-life issues, humanitarian causes, and holding China accountable for human rights abuses, is also considered one of the GOP’s more moderate-to-liberal congressmen on certain issues (notably those pertaining to labor priorities); for example his lifetime Heritage Action score is 47% (the House GOP average is 94%). He’s also served in Congress since 1981 making him one of the chamber’s longest serving members.

Former President Donald Trump issued a call for candidates to primary Smith and several other Republican incumbents earlier this month following Smith’s vote in favor of the House’s infrastructure package.