New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy announced Wednesday she will run for U.S. Senate in 2024, joining a growing list of Democrats challenging Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) after the senior senator was accused of being at the center of a wide-ranging corruption scheme.
Without naming Menendez — who faces federal charges of taking bribes and conspiring to work as an illegal agent of the Egyptian government while serving in the Senate — Murphy said in a video Wednesday that New Jersey’s families “deserve better.”
Murphy, wife of New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy (D), is a financier and formerly worked for Goldman Sachs.
Menendez, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, is now facing primary challenges from at least five fellow Democrats, including Rep. Andy Kim (N.J.), who announced his plan to run in September. He formally announced his bid on Friday.
Tammy Murphy has never held elected office but has maintained a portfolio as first lady since 2018. According to a statement from her campaign, she has worked to “dramatically lower New Jersey’s maternal and infant mortality rate and to make New Jersey the first and only state in the nation to incorporate climate change education in the K-12 curriculum.”
“These weren’t small fights or simple problems to solve, but nothing worth doing ever is,” Murphy said in a statement. “As I look around the country, there’s so much more to do, and we need a Senator who will work every single day to lower the cost of living, protect abortion rights, end the gun violence epidemic, and defend our democracy.”
Tammy and Phil Murphy have been married since 1993 and have four children. The couple co-owns the women’s soccer team NJ/NY Gotham FC.
While Menendez has not ruled out running for reelection in 2024, he faces a number of challenges from his own party after he was charged in September with bribery and other crimes while serving as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In a federal indictment of Menendez, his wife and three associates, the senator is accused of wide-ranging abuses of power in exchange for cash and gifts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. A trial date has been set for May 6.
The embattled senator has rejected calls to resign from other Democratic officials, including Gov. Murphy and Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.).
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