Christopher Henry "Chris" Smith (born March 4, 1953) is the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 4th congressional district, serving since 1981. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district is based in Trenton and includes large portions of central New Jersey. He is currently the dean of the New Jersey congressional delegation.
Smith grew up in the Iselin neighborhood of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, worked in his family's sporting goods business, and earned the Eagle Scout award. After graduating with a B.A. from Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) in 1975, became executive director of the New Jersey Right to Life Committee in 1976. Originally a Democrat, he switched parties and became a Republican in 1978.
In 1978, while working at his family's sporting goods store, 25-year-old Smith ran for Congress as a Republican. He was defeated by longtime Democratic incumbent U.S. Congressman Frank Thompson 61%–37%. In 1980, he ran again for a rematch. Initially, Smith was thought to have little chance against Thompson, but Thompson was indicted as part of the FBI's Abscam probe. Helped by Ronald Reagan's strong performance in the district, Smith defeated Thompson 57%–41%...
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