Sep 23, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Andy Kim to challenge Sen. Menendez in 2024 after bribery charges

Rep. Andy Kim. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) on Saturday announced plans to run against embattled Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) in 2024.

Why it matters: Menendez is facing deep political peril and mounting calls to resign from fellow Democrats in Congress and his home state after he was indicted on federal bribery charges on Friday.

Driving the news: Kim said on X that, after Menendez responded to calls for his resignation by saying he is “not going anywhere,” he felt “compelled to run against him.”

  • “Not something I expected to do, but NJ deserves better. We cannot jeopardize the Senate or compromise our integrity,” Kim added.

State of play: The U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York accused Menendez and his wife in an indictment of accepting "hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes" in cash, gold, lavish gifts and other expenses in exchange for using his power to benefit a trio of New Jersey businessmen.

  • Menendez released a defiant statement on Friday insiting he would not heed calls to resign, adding: "It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat."
  • Flashback: Menendez previously faced unrelated corruption charges in 2017, but jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict in that case.

The latest: Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) on Saturday became the first Senate Democrat to call on Menendez to resign.

Worth noting: Kim flipped his central New Jersey district in 2018 and expanded his margin of victory while winning re-election in 2020 and 2022.

  • The former State Department advisor is the first Asian American member of Congress from New Jersey and would be one of just three Asian American senators if elected.
  • He may face stiff competition even if Menendez steps down – Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) have also been rumored as possible candidates.
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