Josh Zeitz, Democratic candidate for Congress in the 4th Congressional district, today mailed U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-Hamilton) an invitation to four public debates, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglass debates.
Zeitz asked Smith to join him at one public debate in each of the 4th district’s counties.
"The rising cost of food, gas, health care, and education is hurting many working families," wrote Zeitz. "People have a right to know how each of us proposes to address these grave problems, and they have a right to challenge us in a public forum.
"I can think of no better way for us to honor the anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debates than by providing the residents of New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District a similar opportunity to see their candidates engage in a vigorous but respectful exchange of ideas."
A longshot candidate against an entrenched incumbent, Zeitz admitted that neither he nor Smith could "presume to walk in the footsteps of these two giants."
However, "let’s agree to honor their memory — and to honor our neighbors in Central Jersey – by debating in Ocean, Monmouth, Burlington, and Mercer Counties."
Martin Gillespie, chair of the Smith campaign, was unavailable for comment Thursday.