New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez Will Forego The Democratic Primary As He Fights Bribery Charges

( – A Democratic senator won’t be running for re-election but might stand as an independent. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is facing bribery and corruption charges and is under pressure from fellow Democrats to step down. Now he’s given in, but still claims he’ll manage to prove his innocence.

Senator Menendez has been troubled by corruption allegations for his entire Senate career, culminating in a September 2023 indictment on multiple charges that include corruption and being an unregistered agent of a foreign power. Since then, a series of new charges have been brought, including obstruction of justice. He’s due to go on trial on May 6 and is claiming he’ll be exonerated in court, but some of his fellow Democrats have had enough, and several have openly called on him to resign. Last year, he stepped down as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but so far, he’s refused to resign from the Senate.

On March 21, however, Menendez announced that he wouldn’t file his candidacy for the Democratic primary. That will be a big relief to the Democratic Party, but it isn’t all good news from their point of view. The controversial senator repeated his hopes of being cleared—he insists he’s an innocent man persecuted by the courts—and said he hopes his exoneration will let him run as an independent Democrat in November.

The Democrats already have two high-profile candidates vying to replace Menendez. Tammy Murphy, who’s married to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Representative Andy Kim (D-NJ) have both put their names in. With the indictments hanging over his head, Menendez would likely have struggled in the primary.

Will his trial clear him? Menendez insists it will, but his critics aren’t so sure. Even if it does, and he runs as an independent, he’s already admitted that it isn’t just fellow senators who’ve had enough of him; many of New Jersey’s voters have, too.

Copyright 2024,