Bob Menendez is facing a damning federal indictment, urgent calls to resign — and now, a challenge for the Democratic nomination from a rising star in his party.
On Saturday, Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) announced he would run against Menendez, instantly presenting the most serious electoral threat to the senator in a long and powerful career in Washington.
It is a vivid sign that the foundation of Menendez’s political power is disintegrating. The aura of fear around him that has deterred challengers and silenced critics in the past has already faded and may soon be gone.
The 41-year-old Kim is a third-term member of Congress with a background in national security. He has a relatively limited profile in New Jersey but has been a prolific fundraiser and has won several tough races in a battleground district.
He may not be the last member of the state’s House delegation to take on Menendez directly. New Jersey has a handful of potential successors in the wings, and state party leaders are still trying to figure out how to deal with explosive allegations while Menendez remains defiant.
But Kim’s announcement acts as a sort of starting gun to replace New Jersey’s senior senator.
“I feel compelled to run against him,” Kim said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Not something I expected to do, but NJ deserves better. We cannot jeopardize the Senate or compromise our integrity.”
Kim was the first Democrat from the New Jersey congressional delegation to say Menendez should step down Friday as other members of the delegation waited it out. Since then, five other New Jersey Democrats have called for his resignation as well as Gov. Phil Murphy.
Menendez was charged Friday for taking bribes to use his position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to help the Egyptian government and other businesspeople. Menendez has since stepped down from his position on the committee but has rejected calls from his own state and party to step down.
“I am not going anywhere,” Menendez said in a statement following calls to resign Friday.
Kim has represented New Jersey’s third congressional district since 2018 after flipping it from Republican control. He previously served as national security advisor under the Obama administration.
EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email [email protected] Follow our WhatsApp verified Channel