Nov 15, 2023 - Politics & Policy

New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy jumps into Senate race

New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy speaks at the 2nd Annual Women's March On New Jersey on Jan. 20, 2018. Photo: Bobby Bank/WireImage.

New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy on Wednesday announced her run for U.S. Senate in 2024.

Why it matters: She's the second high-profile Democrat to jump into the race in the wake of a federal indictment against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who hasn't said if he is running for reelection.

Driving the news: In a launch video, Murphy cites her work as first lady to improve maternal health care in New Jersey and combat climate change.

  • "I am so proud of everything we've accomplished, but I know there's a lot more to do. And that's why I'm announcing this: I'm running for the United States Senate, because we owe it to our kids to do better," she says.
  • Murphy adds that "right now, Washington is filled with too many people more interested in getting rich or getting on camera than getting things done for you," as the video shows photos of Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) – and Menendez.
  • Murphy previously worked at the investment bank Goldman Sachs, where she met her husband, Gov. Phil Murphy.

The backdrop: Menendez, the former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was charged by the Justice Department with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes.

  • The indictment alleged that Menendez had a corrupt relationship with a trio of New Jersey businessmen and took bribes in the form of cash, mortgage payments, a luxury vehicle and even gold bars.

The state of play: A poll from Public Policy Polling released last month found that Kim is the favorite in the race.

  • The survey found that 42% of Democratic voters support Kim in the primary, with 19% supporting Murphy and just 5% backing Menendez.
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