Indicted Senator Bob Menendez Reportedly Considers Running for Reelection as Independent

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March 14, 2024

Sen. Bob Menendez (D. N.J.), who has been indicted four times in an alleged bribery scheme, is reportedly considering running for reelection this November as an independent, according to NBC News.

Two individuals who recently talked to Menendez told the outlet the senator is preparing to run on an independent ticket, which comes as time is running out for him to qualify for the ballot. He would need to collect 1,000 signatures by March 25 to get on the Democratic ballot but only 800 signatures by June 4 to run as an independent. 

The embattled New Jersey senator was first indicted in September on bribery charges, allegedly handing out political favors to the Egyptian government and three businessmen while pocketing "hundreds of thousands of dollars" with his wife. Three superseding indictments followed in October, January, and early March. Menendez resigned as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but has denied any wrongdoing and rejected bipartisan calls for him to step down as senator. 

Menendez’s reelection campaign would likely pit him against Democratic contenders such as Rep. Andy Kim and New Jersey’s first lady Tammy Murphy. Kim slammed Menendez for "putting his own personal benefit ahead of what’s right for this country," adding that "there is no way that he can win this seat [as an independent], but what he could do is jeopardize this seat and give Republicans a chance."

Sen. John Fetterman (D., Pa.), a longtime critic of Menendez, mocked the New Jersey Democrat’s possible reelection bid as an independent. "I dare him. Go ahead. Go ahead, dude. If that sleaze ball wants to pull 7 percent, go right ahead. And that’s going to be strange trying to campaign while you’re in your trial," Fetterman said. 

Published under: Bob Menendez , New Jersey