Rep. announced. Andy Kim, DN.J., on Saturday that he will challenge Sen. Bob Menendez, DN.J., in the state’s Democratic primary ahead of the 2024 election.
Kim is among a growing chorus of Democrats calling for Menendez to resign following a federal indictment for alleged corruption.
“After calls to resign, Senator Menendez said ‘I am not going anywhere.’ As a result, I am forced to run against him,” Kim wrote from her campaign account on X, formerly Twitter. “Not something I look forward to doing, but NJ deserves better. We cannot jeopardize the Senate or compromise our integrity.”
The account bio was also updated to read, “Running to represent New Jersey in the United States Senate. Father of two troublemakers. Vote for me or not, I’m working for you.”
Menendez was charged in an unsealed indictment Friday in the Southern District of New York with allegedly agreeing to use his official position to benefit New Jersey businessmen Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes. and the Egyptian government in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. The indictment also charges Menendez’s wife, Nadine, and three businessmen in the years-long bribery scheme. Federal prosecutors said the bribes included gold bars, cash and a luxury convertible.
MENENDEZ, CALLS HIS RESIGNATION
Menendez has so far refused to resign his seat and has insisted he will run for re-election in 2024 but quit his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Friday, as Senate Democratic Caucus rules require the any member charged with a felony to abandon the duties of committee chair.
Besides Kim, other members of New Jersey’s House delegation have called for Menendez to step down. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, DN.J., issued a statement praising Menendez for being a “critical voice and a tough fighter for Jersey, with a strong record that includes gun safety, protecting our environment and rights of a woman to choose and fight racism and antisemitism.” “That being said, given the gravity of the allegations, I believe the Senator will have difficulty fulfilling his responsibilities,” Gottheimer added. “For the good of the state, he should step aside while he concentrates on his defense.”
New Jersey Gov. also called. Phil Murphy, a Democrat who could appoint someone to serve out the remainder of Menendez’s term if the senator resigns, said he would step down. The governor condemned the charges against Menendez as “serious cases that implicate national security and the integrity of our criminal justice system.”
NEW JERSEY GOV. PHIL MURPHY CALLED SEN. MENENDEZ TO RESIGN AGAINST INDICTMENT
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., who has been subject to his own controversy over the Senate’s lax dress code, appeared to be the first Democratic senator to call for Menendez’s resignation on Saturday.
“Senator Menendez should resign,” Fetterman wrote in X. “He is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but he cannot continue to influence national policy, especially given the serious and specific nature of the allegations. I hope he chose a noble exit and focused on his trial.”
Menendez faced a federal corruption indictment in 2015, but those charges ended in a mistrial in 2017. In 2018, the Senate Ethics Committee said he violated federal law and upper chamber rules in receiving unreported gifts from a friend and political ally. He still won re-election last year.
Kim, who has served in Congress since 2019, is a former adviser for the Obama administration, has advocated against anti-Asian hatred in the wake of the pandemic and went viral online following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol after a photo surfaced in which he is cleaning. debris littered the Rotunda afterwards.
Menendez now has another challenger in the 2024 Democratic primary.
Kyle Jasey, a real estate lender and son of Democratic New Jersey Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, filed to run for a 2024 US Senate campaign in August.