Andy Kim Wins New Jersey Senate Primary


Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) secured victory in the Democratic primary on Tuesday evening for New Jersey’s Senate seat, surpassing two opponents in his quest to succeed the embattled Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

The Associated Press called the race for Kim at 8:14 p.m., shortly after the polls closed in the Garden State. With only 8% of the ballots counted, Kim held a commanding lead with nearly 80% of the vote.

Menendez, currently facing trial in New York on charges of federal public corruption including bribery and acting as a foreign agent for Egypt and Qatar, did not enter the Democratic primary. Confronted with the strong likelihood of a loss to Kim, the third-term senator instead chose to run as an independent in the general election by submitting petition signatures to secure a spot on the ballot.

“It displeases me to have to go this route, thanks to overzealous prosecutors, but I will do what must be done to continue to uphold my oath of office for my constituents,” Menendez posted on social media.

Kim easily defeated progressive activist Lawrence Hamm, who had run unsuccessfully against Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) in 2020, and labor leader Patricia Campos Medina. This contest marked the initial step for Senate Democrats, most of whom have urged Menendez to resign, moving to distance themselves from him.

FILE — Rep. Andy Kim greets supporters outside the Bergen County Democratic convention in Paramus, N.J., March 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Kim encountered minimal resistance partly due to Tammy Murphy, the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ), withdrawing early from what was expected to be a fiercely competitive race.

Menendez’s unlikely independent bid has raised concerns among some Senate Democrats, who fear the incumbent could divide the vote and risk the typically secure seat falling into Republican hands.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the only member of the leadership who has not called for Menendez’s resignation but has criticized his conduct, avoided addressing whether he would support Menendez’s independent campaign.

“The primary is today. I’m not even going to comment,” Schumer said.

Ramsey Touchberry
Ramsey Touchberry
Ramsey Touchberry is a Capitol Hill Reporter focusing on energy and environment. Previously, Ramsey covered Congress for Newsweek and was a multimedia reporter at a local NPR and PBS affiliate in Florida. A native of the Sunshine State, Ramsey graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in broadcast and digital journalism.

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