Mar 21, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Indicted Sen. Bob Menendez says he won't run in Democratic primary

Bob Menendez

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), facing federal bribery charges, announced Thursday that he will not run for re-election as a Democrat — but left the door open to running as an independent.

Why it matters: Menendez has faced widespread calls from within his own party to resign. His decision to forgo re-election clears the way for two Democrats in the state who are vying for his seat.

What they're saying: "I am hopeful that my exoneration will take place this summer and allow me to pursue my candidacy as an independent Democrat in a general election," Menendez, who has maintained his innocence, said in a video post Thursday.

The big picture: Menendez, the former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is facing bribery and obstruction of justice charges for allegedly taking action to benefit foreign governments.

  • He allegedly received gold bars, cash and a luxury car for those actions.
  • Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) and New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy are the favorites to replace Menendez as the Democratic nominee for Senate.

What to watch: Menendez's trial is scheduled to begin in May.

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