“No one should have a congressional seat for three decades,” 33-year-old Democrat Josh Zeitz, a college professor challenging fourteen-term incumbent Christopher Smith told the Burlington County Times. “You can’t help but stop relating to your constituents.” You can be Frank Lautenberg disagrees with his would-be running mate.
The 84-year-old Lautenberg has served 24 years in the United States Senate and is seeking re-election to a fifth six-year term. If he wins, Lautenberg will have spent thirty years in Washington. Smith, who turns 55 this year, has been a Congressman since age 27. He has now served in Congress longer than Frank Thompson, the House Administration Committee Chairman he ousted in 1980.
Zeitz’s second shot — “I fundamentally believe that Congress should be made up of teachers and carpenters and regular people” – may have more validity against Lautenberg than Smith. Lautenberg was the mega millionaire founder of Automated Data Processing before he self-financed his 2002 U.S. Senate race, while Smith was a salesman for his family-owned Old Bridge sporting goods store.