Following the announcement that Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has once again been indicted on federal corruption charges, a Democratic congressman has announced his intention to challenge Menendez’s re-election bid in 2024.
As Newsmax reports, Congressman Andy Kim (D-N.J.) of the 3rd congressional district announced on Saturday that he would run against Menendez in the Democratic Party’s primary, which is set to take place on June 4, 2024.
“After calls to resign, Senator Menendez said ‘I am not going anywhere,’” Kim tweeted. “As a result, I feel compelled to run against him. Not something I expected to do, but NJ deserves better.”
Kim had publicly called on Menendez to resign from his seat after the indictment by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. The charges allege that Menendez and his wife Nadine had accepted over $600,000 worth of bribes from the Egyptian government, in the form of such valuables as gold bars, in exchange for providing sensitive information. Other Democrats have called on Menendez to resign, including Governor Phil Murphy (D-N.J.).
However, despite stepping down as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has refused to resign from the Senate, and has not yet indicated whether or not he will seek re-election. He has described the new charges against him as a “smear campaign.”
Menendez had been indicted on federal charges once before in 2015, on accusations that he had used his position to advance the interests of a Florida ophthalmologist who had been a major donor to Menendez’s campaigns. The case ultimately led to a mistrial, with Menendez remaining in the Senate despite being “severely admonished” in a subsequent report by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. He was then re-elected by an 11-point margin in 2018.