Bateman sends letter to GOP voters, seeking support for Smith challenge

A general electioncandidate in the 12th Congressional district last year, Alan Bateman, a former deputy mayor of Holmdel, notified voters this week that he intends to pursue a 4th Congressional District 2010 primary challenge of U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-Hamilton), whom Bateman believes has strayed from core GOP principles.

"I am running for U.S. Congress against current incumbent Chris Smith," writes Bateman in a request for financial support printed on "Bateman for Congress" letterhead.

"Chris Smith has been in Washington for 30 long years – that's right – 30 years! He is a Washington insider who is out of touch with the people," addsBateman,a fierce ally of former gubernatorial candidate and movement conservative leader SteveLonegan of Bogota.

"…Chris Smith was one of eight Republicans who voted for cap and trade," says the self-described conservative."His vote confirmed what most of us have known all along… Chris Smith is way too liberal for this district, drawn to be a safe Republican seat."

Bateman urges people to give to his campaign, whether it's $25, $250 or the maximum contribution allowed: $2,400.

In 2008, Holt demolished Bateman by a 62% to 36% margin.

With his Holmdel house up for sale in the 12th Congressional District, Bateman told earlier this summer that he was contemplatinga challenge to Smith from the platform of his new residencein the 4th District, but as late as last week said he has not reached a final decision regarding his 2010 plans.

Fair Haven Mayor Michael Halfacre has already formally kicked off his Republican challenge of Holt in the 12th.

Bateman sends letter to GOP voters, seeking support for Smith challenge