Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Rep. Rob Menendez faces tough primary battle amid father’s corruption trial

By 37ci3 Jun5,2024

Rep. Rob Menendez, D-N.J., is looking to defeat his primary challenger on Tuesday in the race It overshadowed his father’s ongoing corruption trial.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla tried to connect the congressman with Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, who is facing federal bribery charges. The elder Menendez has pleaded not guilty and Rob Menendez has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Still, America’s Promise PAC, an outside group backing Bhalla, launched a TV ad with a narrator: “They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So it’s no surprise that Rob Menendez is defending his father’s corruption,” adding later that the congressman is “rotten to the core.”

Rob Menendez, who represents the majority-Hispanic 8th District in northern New Jersey, is the only Hispanic member of the state House. He received support from BOLD PAC, the political arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Protect Progress, a group affiliated with the cryptocurrency industry.

At the same time, representative Andy Kim won New Jersey Democratic Senate PrimaryNBC News projects it has a potentially confrontational Sen. Menendez was nominated as an independent candidate.

Kim warned that an independent bid by Menendez, who has served in the Senate since 2006, could jeopardize deep-blue New Jersey seats for Democrats. Kim initially sought to challenge Menendez in the Democratic primary, running in September after Menendez was indicted.

“Our work is just beginning,” Kim said in a statement Tuesday night. “New Jersey has a choice: the chaos and corruption of Bob Menendez and Donald Trump, or policies that work for struggling families. New Jersey deserves better, and I’m ready to take our movement for change to the US Senate.”

His victory Tuesday marked an anticlimactic end to a primary that was initially bitter and costly after first lady Tammy Murphy jumped into the race. But Murphy ended his campaign with Kim’s intervention popular anger directed at the party machinethis often involves party leaders hand-picking their preferred candidates.

Kim Murphy said she faced pressure to drop out of the race after entering.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to look my two kids in the eye if I get out of this race because someone more connected than me jumps in, but I think I have more experience than him,” Kim told NBC News. back in March.

Kim has proven to be a strong fundraiser and gained national attention for helping clean up the Capitol Rotunda after the January 6, 2021 riot.

Seeking re-election would allow Menendez to continue raising campaign funds and spending on legal expenses.

Kim’s Senate run opened the House seat in the Democratic-leaning 3rd District. State Assemblyman Herb Conaway, an Air Force veteran and physician, won the Democratic primary for the seat Tuesday night after getting help from outside groups, including VoteVets and 314 Action, which support candidates with STEM backgrounds.

Tuesday’s primaries will also include other Senate meetings in Montana. Republicans are expected to select businessman and former Navy SEAL Tim Shea to take on Democratic Sen. John Tester in one of the most hotly contested races of this election cycle.

Nella Domenici, whose late father Pete Domenici served as state senator for more than 30 years in New Mexico, has won the Republican primary for Senate. He will face Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich in the Democratic-leaning state in November.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have been the presumptive nominees of their parties for several months now. But New Jersey could see some backlash against Biden over the Israel-Hamas war, as the slogan “Justice for Palestine, Now a Permanent Ceasefire” will appear on the ballot below the “non-loyal” option in the Democratic presidential primary.

Voting closes at 8:00 PM ET in New Jersey, 9:00 PM in Iowa, New Mexico and South Dakota and 10:00 PM in Montana.

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By 37ci3

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