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(Daily Caller)—Democratic New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim said Saturday that he will challenge Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez in 2024 after calls for his resignation following his indictment.
Menendez and his wife were indicted on Friday on charges including three counts of alleged bribery, fraud and extortion in the Southern District of New York. After Menendez declined the numerous calls from fellow Democrats to resign, Kim said he felt “compelled” to primary the senator, according to his Twitter.
“After calls to resign, Senator Menendez said ‘I am not going anywhere.’ As a result, I feel compelled to run against him. Not something I expected to do, but NJ deserves better. We cannot jeopardize the Senate or compromise our integrity. Please join me,” Kim wrote, including a link for donations.
Along with Kim, numerous elected Democratic officials from New Jersey have called on Menendez to resign, including Gov. Phil Murphy, state Democratic Party Chairman LeRoy Jones, General Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Rep. Mikie Sherrill, Rep. Josh Gottheimer and former Rep. Tom Malinowski. Democratic Rep. Dean Philips of Minnesota and Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania have also asked Menendez to step aside.
“Those who believe in justice believe in innocence until proven guilty,” Menendez said in a statement. “I intend to continue to fight for the people of New Jersey with the same success I’ve had for the past five decades. This is the same record of success these very same leaders have lauded all along. It is not lost on me how quickly some are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat. I am not going anywhere.”
The charges brought against Menendez related to allegedly receiving lavish gifts, like cash, gold bars and a luxury car, in return for political favors in the upper chamber. Menendez has denied the allegations.
Menendez previously served in both chambers of the state Legislature, as well as the U.S. House, according to Ballotpedia. The senator has held his seat since 2006, and is running for a fourth term next year.
Menendez did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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