U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4) this afternoon threw his support to 14th District state Senate candidate Richard Kanka, a man Smith called “compassionate,” “selfless” and an “extraordinary leader.”
“Crushed by personal tragedy Richard and his wife Maureen used that extraordinary sorrow and pain to ensure that everyone else’s child was protected from harm,” Smith said, referring to Kanka’s work to enact Megan’s Law, the sex offender registry law that bears the name of his daughter who was murdered by a convicted pedophile. “Every parent, every grandparent…owes him a debt of gratitude.”
Smith Called Kanka “one of us” and said he cares about results and not partisanship.
Kanka is running in the 14th against incumbent Democrat Linda Greenstein, who has served this year after winning a special election for the seat last November. Greenstein served a decade in the Assembly before ascending to the upper chamber.
Greenstein has enduring support from organized labor in the district and even has even been endorsed by the Plumbers and Pipefitters of which Kanka is a member.
For the first time since 1991, when Peter Inverso won election to the Senate, the 14th is represented in the legislature by three Democrats, including Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo and Dan Benson.
Smith has represented Hamilton and other 14th District municipalities in Congress for three decades and is immensely popular owing to his constituent services.
Smith received nearly 70 percent of the vote in his 2010 re-election bid.