Menendez expected to run as an independent candidate in New Jersey Senate race

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Senator Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, leaves federal court in New York, U.S., Monday, May 20, 2024.


Indicted Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey is expected to run for re-election as an independent, two sources familiar with the matter said Monday.

His decision to run as an independent, first reported by the New Jersey Globe, comes the day before a New Jersey primary in which three Democrats and four Republicans are vying for their parties’ nominations for the seat that he currently occupies.

Menendez, who faces federal corruption charges and is currently on trial in New York, announced in March that he would not seek a fourth full term as a Democrat, but left open the possibility of a candidacy independent if he were exonerated. He faces a Tuesday deadline to file as an independent. New Jersey’s deadline for independent candidates to withdraw from the ballot is August 16.

His presence in the race could make New Jersey’s Senate race more unpredictable, with control of the House at stake. Democrats currently hold a slim majority but face a tough election schedule this fall.

“Americans are tired of politicians who put their personal interests ahead of what’s good for the country,” Rep. Andy Kim, the Democratic frontrunner in Tuesday’s primary, said in a statement. “Everyone knows Bob Menendez isn’t running for the people of New Jersey, he’s running for himself. It is long past time for change and I am stepping up to restore the integrity of the United States Senate.”

Menendez’s federal corruption trial is currently in its fourth week. The senator, New Jersey businessmen Wael Hana and Fred Daibes, and Menendez’s wife, Nadine, are accused of engaging in a bribery scheme and acting as foreign agents of the Egyptian government. All four have pleaded not guilty.

The trial resulted in hundreds of text messages, emails, images and voicemails sent between Sen. Nadine Menendez, Hana and a host of friends and business associates with alleged roles in the bribery scheme .

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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