Bob Menendez Says He Won’t Run For Reelection As Democrat In 2024

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey announced he would not run in the Democratic Senate primary Thursday, saying he was “hopeful” that he could eventually run as an independent candidate.

The Justice Department unsealed an indictment against Menendez and his wife, Nadine, on three counts according to a September release by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, then added additional charges in a March 5 superseding indictment. Menendez said he would not be running in June’s New Jersey Senate primary, but left the door open to running as an “independent Democrat.” (RELATED: ‘Not Going To Be Very Sympathetic’: Turley Outlines DOJ Strategy To Have Jury ‘See A Trend’ Involving Indicted Senator)

“The present accusations I am facing, of which I am innocent and will prove so, will not allow me to have that type of dialogue and debate with political opponents that have already made it the cornerstone of their campaign,” Menendez said in a video statement posted on YouTube. “New Jerseyans deserve better than that. You deserve to hear from those who wish to represent you about what they would do for you and your families in the future.”


“Therefore, I will not file for the Democratic primary this June,” Menendez said. “I am hopeful that my exoneration will take place this summer and allow me to pursue my candidacy as an independent Democrat in the general election.”

Menendez and his wife allegedly received cash and gold bars from three New Jersey businessmen in return for aiding the Egyptian and Qatari governments, according to the September release by the Justice Department. Menendez’s wife also allegedly received a new Mercedes-Benz automobile after the senator tried to interfere with a criminal probe in New Jersey, according to the indictment.

Menendez announced he would step down “temporarily” as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee in the wake of the indictment. Menendez faced trial in 2017 over corruption allegations that ended with a hung jury.

Democratic Rep. Andy Kim of New Jersey and New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy announced primary challenges to Menendez following his initial indictment. Menendez drew only 9% support in a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released Feb. 2, while 32% of respondents backed Kim and 20% backed Murphy.

The New Jersey Democratic State Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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