Indicted Senator Menendez is skipping the Democratic primaries, but is not yet counted out

(Uncredited / Associated Press)

Indicted Senator Menendez is skipping the Democratic primaries, but is not yet counted out


March 21, 2024

Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey said Thursday he will not participate


Democratic primary because he faces federal corruption charges, but he left open the possibility he would

could be

re-enter the race as an independent later this year if he is acquitted at trial.

Menendez’s announcement comes four days before the state’s deadline to file for the June 4 Democratic primary, which is already being contested by Rep. Andy Kim and New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy.


10 minute video

posted on social media,



about his decades in Congress and


pushing for aid for his state, including Superstorm Sandy recovery and COVID-19 relief.

“The current allegations I am facing

of which I am innocent and will prove it

I will not allow myself to have such dialogue and debate with political opponents,” he said




Video. You deserve to hear from those who want to represent you what they would do for you and your families in the future. That’s why I won’t be filing with the Democratic Party in June.

Menendez said


He is hopeful that he will be acquitted at trial



that he

could run as an independent Democrat in the general election.

The decision comes as


is fighting federal bribery charges along with his wife Nadine


and three business partners.

The married couple

are accused of accepting bribes in the form of gold bars, cash and a Mercedes-Benz in exchange for the senators’ help with projects of three New Jersey businessmen.

Menendez helped one of the men negotiate a lucrative meat certification deal with Egypt, which prosecutors say involved taking actions favorable to the Egyptian government. An additional indictment said Menendez helped another associate get a deal with a Qatari investment fund.

The Senator,


and two of the three business partners have pleaded not guilty.

The others

employee has pleaded guilty and


agreed to testify in the case.

Menendez’s withdrawal from the Democratic primary sets the stage for Murphy and Kim to battle to be the party’s standard-bearer

carrier in a depth

blue state that hasn’t elected a Republican to the Senate since 1972.

Murphy, wife of the governor of New Jersey. Phil Murphy is a new candidate running with the support of influential party insiders. Kim is a three-term congressman who has focused his campaign in part on overturning the state’s unique voting design.

that is

Widely regarded as a preferred candidate by provincial party insiders.

I will win in November even if I have to beat Menendez and a Republican at the same time, Kim said in a post on the social media platform X.

Murphy said in a post on X that the state needs a senator who focuses on the issues facing New Jersey families.

Senator Menendez continues to lead the way in what is best for New Jerseyans and the Democratic Party as a whole. He should not have the privilege of serving in the Senate in any capacity, she said.

The stakes are high for Democrats

in the entire country

compete for their limited control of the Senate.

Republicans have their own primary, starring businessman Curtis Bashaw


Christine Serrano Glassner

Mayor of the Borough of Mendham;

and former TV news reporter Alex Zdan.

Menendez, who is serving a third full term in the Senate, has been elected at every level in the state. His status among Democrats remained unchanged

a previous one

Federal corruption trial that ended in a hung jury


and saw him re-elected in 2018 with the full support of his party.

This time, however, Democrats called for his resignation shortly after the Justice Department case

against him

some unsealed. The day after the first indictment in September, Kim announced his campaign.

Menendez, who did

taken on

a defiant tone since the charges were announced, mixed with reconciliation in his video.

“I know many of you are hurt and disappointed in me by the accusations I am facing,” he said. Believe me, I am also disappointed by the false accusations. All I can ask of you is to suspend judgment until justice is served.

The son of Cuban immigrants and a lawyer by training, Menendez served on the school board in Union City, NJ, at the age of 20.


and became mayor of the city, where he still has deep roots.

His biography states that he wanted to fight corruption early


in his political career

. And he did,

test against Union City officials and build a reputation that is just as tough. From there he was elected to the State Assembly and then to the Senate


before heading to the U.S. House.

Menendez was appointed

the US Senate

in 2006

to fill

the chair



when official

Jon Corzine became governor.

He was directly elected


in 2006


and again in 2012 and 2018. He served as

the best democrat and sometimes-



the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee that started in 2013 but subsequently lost that post

his previous

indictment. He regained the position after federal prosecutors


renew charges in that case, which ended in a mistrial.

He was forced to give up that position


is dictated

last year. Catalini writes for the Associated Press.


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