Tammy Murphy's unexpected campaign suspension shakes up senate race in New Jersey

Anthony Johnson Image
Monday, March 25, 2024
Murphy's decision to suspend campaign paves way for Rep. Kim
Anthony Johnson has the latest in Newark on New Jersey's Senate race.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy announced she is pulling out of the race for U.S. Senate, blaming what she called a very divisive and negative campaign.

She was running against U.S. Rep. Andy Kim and vying for the seat held by embattled Sen. Bob Menendez.

Many were surprised by the announcement Sunday, but internal polls were suggesting an uphill climb for Murphy. Additionally Kim has been getting more political money and surveys suggest he has a higher likability rating than Murphy.

Both Democrats and Republicans are fighting for the seat held by senior Sen. Bob Menendez, who is facing a slew of corruption charges. Every seat is critical in shaping the future political landscape.

Murphy felt the negatives would hurt Democrats in the long run. While Congressman Kim becomes the favorite to win, there are a couple other Democrats who want to entice former Murphy supporters to join their campaign.

"Tammy Murphy dropping out of the race demonstrates how hard it is for women in U.S. politics to run for office, we have to be three times as qualified as any man to be considered ready to serve," said U.S. Senate candidate Patricia Campos-Medina.

The move by Murphy to suspend her campaign came the day before candidates had to submit enough signatures to get their name on the ballot.

The head of the People's Organization for Progress took the trek to Trenton to deliver some 5,000 signatures.

"I come here today with the other candidates to get our petitions in for the deadline," said U.S. Senate candidate Larry Hamm.

But with the primary set for June 2, both Hamm and Medina must make up ground to get statewide name recognition.

Kim has gone from battling the establishment to becoming the Democratic frontrunner.

"He's the best-known of the remaining candidates and pretty much universally liked by potential Democratic voters in the upcoming June primary," said Monmouth University Pollster Patrick Murray.

Menendez announced last week that he would not run for reelection as a Democrat, but is keeping his options open to run as an independent for his current seat.

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