Democrats Clash With Leaders in Bid to Succeed Menendez

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( – New Jersey’s first lady, Tammy Murphy, is running to fill the incoming vacancy in the Senate as Sen. Bob Menendez (D- NJ) is facing an indictment for corruption and bribery.

Menendez was found in possession of envelopes of cash and gold bars after an FBI raid on his home. The indictment also describes text messages, emails, and other internet activity which seemingly confirm that the funds were given to him in exchange for political favors.

Murphy thought that her bid would be well-received after making a round of phone calls to county party chairs in advance of her bid. New Jersey is unique in the nation in that it holds county-based primaries to select its candidates for Senate. Murphy’s major competitor is Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) who announced his intention to replace Menendez the same day the latter was indicted by federal officials.

Kim beat Murphy over the weekend on February 10th in her home county, suggesting the political newcomer is in for a thumping at the ballot box. An anonymous insider speaking with Politico suggested that anti-establishment sentiment is at an all-time high and Murphy is seen as a member of that establishment.

Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) called the phenomenon “a genuine revolt” against the ruling class and suggested Tammy Murphy has become a symbol due to her marriage to the governor.

Democratic party machinery has consistently supported Menendez despite the evidence. He had previously been tried for corruption in 2017 and was cleared of that ordeal due to a mistrial. It was evident he was losing popularity with voters in 2018 when his primary competitor earned 38% of the vote. Menendez has been a vocal anti-Trumper which granted him a victory in the general election in the highly Democrat-controlled state regardless.

One of the major ways Democrats can rig their own primary in NJ is by placing preferred candidates in a coveted spot on the ballot which gives them a default advantage. Democratic challengers have complained about the system for years.

Kim’s campaign suggested that they have momentum after the results became clear on Saturday; the anonymous insider further suggested that no one was going to be mad if Tammy Murphy fails to win the seat.

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