Tammy Snyder Murphy, New Jersey’s first lady, announced Wednesday that she’s running for the Senate seat currently held by legally embattled Sen. Bob Menendez (D).
On social media, Murphy touted her efforts to successfully reduce the maternal mortality rate and improve maternal health in New Jersey during the tenure of her husband, Gov. Phil Murphy (D).
According to reports, New Jersey went from 47th in maternal deaths in 2020 to 29th this year.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but we’ve made real progress on this initiative and so many others,” Murphy says in her campaign video. “And I’m really proud that New Jersey is now a safer place to give birth to a child, but we’ve also worked non-stop to make it a great place to raise a child.”
She then pointed to combating climate change, including putting climate on the curriculum in schools “making New Jersey the only state in the nation to do so,” and she noted other challenges that need to be tackled, including gun violence and mass shootings as well as the defunding of Planned Parenthood and efforts to ban abortion nationwide.
Meanwhile, Murphy’s fellow Democrat, Sen. Menendez, has not yet said whether he’ll seek reelection in 2024.
In September Menendez was indicted on corruption and bribery charges, to which he pleaded not guilty, and then to a superseding indictment in October on charges that allege he conspired to act as a foreign agent.
Menendez and his wife Nadine Menendez, who also pleaded not guilty to charges in September, are accused of accepting “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes” in exchange for political influence.
Prosecutors said the bribes included gold bars, cash, home mortgage payments, a luxury vehicle and compensation for a “low-or-no-show job”—Nadine Menendez was allegedly put on the payroll of New Jersey businessman Wael “Will” Hana, according to the initial indictment.
Hana and two other businessmen, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes, have all been arraigned on charges in the case as well.
Dozens of Democratic Senators have called on Menendez to leave office, including fellow New Jersey Democrat, Sen. Cory Booker.
Menendez has stepped back from his position as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but while defending his presumption of innocence, Menendez has insisted he won’t resign from the his seat altogether.
Whether Menendez runs again or not, Murphy won’t have a clear path to the Democratic nomination. U.S. Rep. Andy Kim announced his candidacy for Senator just one day after the initial indictment was levied against Menendez.
A Republican, Mendham, New Jersey Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner, is also seeking Menendez’s Senate seat next year.