Menendez Files For Re-Election As Independent Amid Corruption Trial

Senator Bob Menendez filed to run for re-election as an independent candidate on Monday. The move comes as he faces a trial on federal bribery charges and allows him to collect fewer signatures to access the ballot.

Menendez’s decision to run as an independent also enables him to continue raising and spending campaign funds on legal fees amid the ongoing corruption trial. He has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.

The filing comes one day before the state’s deadline for independent candidates and on the eve of the state’s primary, where Rep. Andy Kim is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for Menendez’s seat. Kim has warned that a Menendez run as an independent could put the deep-blue state in play in November.

“Americans are fed up with politicians putting their own personal benefit ahead of what’s right for the country.  Everyone knows Bob Menendez isn’t running for the people of New Jersey, he’s doing it for himself,” said Kim.  “It’s beyond time for change, and I’m stepping up to restore integrity back into the U.S. Senate.”

Additionally, Menendez’s son, Representative Rob Menendez, is facing a competitive race in the 8th District against Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. A pro-Bhalla outside group has launched a TV ad tying Rob Menendez to his father’s trial, which Rob Menendez has not been accused of any impropriety.

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