New Jersey Attorney Michael Starr Hopkins is exploring a run to challenge Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) in the June 2018 Democratic primary.
In an opinion piece published to The Hill, Hopkins wrote he is seeking a Senate seat because he believes "New Jersey deserves a fresh start" that he can provide because he "doesn’t owe any favors to the political establishment."
The announcement follows the recent end to Mendendez's corruption trial, which resulted in a mistrial after the jury was deadlocked on all charges.
Hopkins, who worked on the presidential campaigns of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, spent the first half of his op-ed explaining why Menendez was no longer fit to represent the Garden State, noting the senator’s low approval rating since his corruption trial.
"Democrats need to be the solution, not the problem," Hopkins said. "Nominating a candidate whose name is synonymous with corruption only muddies the waters, making it easier for Republicans to cry hypocrisy and for voters across the country to say that ‘both parties' are rotten."
The aspiring candidate appealed to the average American voter in his piece by explaining his humble background, including having been raised by a single mother who put herself through law school while raising him.
"I am the man I am today because of the strong black woman who raised me," Hopkins wrote.
Hopkins further gave insight into a potential platform, saying he believed health care is a right, Medicare needs to be provided for all American citizens, education must be reformed so students are "not left drowning in student loan debt," and we need to "build a tax code that works for everyone."
Hopkins explained he felt called to enter politics after watching the United States be run by "corrupt leadership."
"I can no longer stand on the sidelines and watch the country that I love flounder under morally and ethically corrupt leadership," Hopkins said. "I can no longer encourage other people to stand up and enter the public sphere if I am not willing to do the same."