NJ First Lady , Senate candidate Tammy Murphy announces bill guaranteeing right to doulas

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Tammy Murphy explains reason behind Senate run
Anthony Johnson speaks with Murphy about her Senate campaign.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy made her first public appearance Monday since announcing her run for U.S. Senate last week.

Murphy was at University Hospital in Newark for a maternal and infant health roundtable discussion.

There she announced legislation that would guarantee patients have a legal right to doulas during pregnancy.

The bill would also require medical facility to post their doula policies online.

"This legislation will help ensure every mother can have the support of a doula during their greatest moment of need," Murphy said. "There is nothing like having a dedicated advocate in the delivery room who is solely focused on you and your baby."

The announcement came on the same day as four House Democrats -- Reps. Frank Pallone, Donald Norcross, Bill Pascrell and Donald Payne -- endorsed Murphy's senate campaign, joining Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who announced his support last week.

In her first public comments since announcing she was entering the Democratic primary, Murphy said she was "implored to run by many across the state."

She insisted she will not lean on her husband for support.

"I will win this on my own merits. I will be on the ground, in the communities, I will do the hard work," she said. "That's all I know. Everything I do, I put my head down and I just work hard."

Murphy said U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is facing "really serious allegations" and "he does not have the moral authority to comment" on her deciding to run for his seat.

Menendez is under federal indictment, giving Democrats an opportunity to challenge him.

After Murphy announced her run, Menendez -- who has not announced his own intentions -- issued a scathing statement.

Murphy said Menendez "has done really good things for New Jersey, no question. But these are really serious allegations."

She acknowledged that she has much in common with her closest challenger, Rep. Andy Kim. "We probably agree on a lot of things."

Murphy said she is running for Senate because she is concerned with the future of the democracy. She cited two wars, mass shootings and abortion rights.

Last week, Governor Phil Murphy publicly reacted to his wife's announcement that she'll be seeking a New Jersey Senate seat.

"I've never been around someone who works harder than she does," Murphy said. "She's going to go to every corner of this state and meet with anyone who will meet with her."

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