New Jersey First Lady Launches Primary Challenge To Indicted Sen. Bob Menendez

New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy launched a 2024 primary challenge Wednesday against indicted Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez.

Murphy’s announcement marks the second high-profile New Jersey Democrat to run against Menendez, as Rep. Andy Kim launched a Senate campaign the day after the senator was indicted for alleged bribery, fraud and extortion in the Southern District of New York. The first lady touted her work in the governor’s office on maternal health initiatives for minority communities and on climate change during her announcement video.

“I’m running for the United States Senate, because we owe it to our kids to do better. Right now, Washington is filled with too many people more interested in getting rich or getting on camera than getting things done for you,” Murphy said in the video. “From gun violence and mass shootings, to a warming planet that threatens our children’s future, to extreme politicians who want to defund Planned Parenthood and ban abortion in all 50 states — including New Jersey. We have big, complicated issues, and solving them won’t be easy. But you know what? Nothing worth doing ever is.”

Following Menendez’s indictment, numerous Democratic New Jersey elected officials — including Gov. Phil Murphy — called on the senator to resign, along with a long list of Senate Democrats. Menendez has since refused, but temporarily stepped down from his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The charges against Menendez related to allegedly receiving lavish gifts, like a luxury car, cash and gold bars, in return for political favors in the upper chamber – all of which the senator pleaded not guilty to. A superseding indictment came in mid-October, accusing Menendez of acting as a foreign agent, which the senator also pleaded not guilty to.

Menendez has not announced whether he intends to seek reelection in 2024.

“I’m Tammy Murphy, and I’m ready to work every single day in the United States Senate for you, your family and our country. Join us,” said Murphy.

Mary Lou Masters on November 15, 2023

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