Sen. Bob Menendez, DN.J., has since seen his campaign fundraising plummet and his legal fees skyrocket. he was charged with bribery and conspiracy In federal court in September, according to a new fundraising report.
Menendez, who’s there denied any wrongdoing, told reporters this month that he has not yet decided whether he will run for re-election. But his latest fundraising report shows just how difficult it is to raise money for a competitive race.
Menendez raised just $104,000 in the last three months of the year, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday. That was about a tenth of what he made from his previous fundraising quarter, most of it before he was charged.
Meanwhile, Menendez’s campaign spending on “legal services” soared to $2.3 million in the fourth quarter. That’s 10 times more than his campaign paid in legal fees for the rest of 2023.
Menendez’s legal defense fund has been building its coffers since it was founded in July, raising about $470,000 through the first six months of the year, according to a separate filing with the IRS. This fund included a $30,000 contribution from members of the influential Norcross family, including a $10,000 donation. From George E. Norcross III. Those donations came in August, before Menendez’s indictment in mid-September.
Menendez has drawn two prominent Democratic primary challengers since his indictment: Rep. Andy Kim and Tammy Murphy, married to Governor Phil Murphy.
Both outscored Menendez in the last quarter of the year. Kim earned about $1.8 million, Murphy collected $3.2 million.
But Menendez still had more money in his account than his main rivals combined, ending the year with $6.2 million. Both Kim and Murphy had $2.7 million in their campaign accounts as of Dec. 31.