🔵 First Lady Tammy Murphy made her campaign announcement in a video

🔵 Fellow Democrat, Rep. Andy Kim, already in the race

🔵 She has never held an elected political position

First lady Tammy Murphy announced her run for U.S. Senate in a video released Wednesday morning which drew a quick response from incumbent Bob Menendez,

The opportunity for Murphy to run and have a chance at winning came in the form of federal charges of bribery and treason against Menendez.

He has vehemently denied any guilt and continued conducting business as usual in Washington despite numerous calls for him to resign. Gov. Phil Murphy was among the first to call for him to quit.

In her campaign video, Tammy Murphy, who has never held public office, introduced herself to voters as the youngest daughter of five of Ed and Jean Snyder who taught her the importance of education, service to others and hard work. She started a career in finance working all around the world and where she met husband, the future Gov. Phil Murphy.

“I’m running for the United States Senate because we owe to our kids to do better," Tammy Murphy said in her video. “Right now Washington is filled with too many people more interested in getting rich or getting on camera than getting things done for you,” she said in the video as an image of Menendez appeared on the screen.

As of Wednesday morning her campaign had not filed with the Federal Election Commission, a requirement to raise funds.

'Big complicated issues' to solve

She ticked off a number of issues of concern including climate change, abortion and gun violence.

"We have big complicated issues and solving them won't be easy. But you know what? Nothing worth doing ever is," she said.

Murphy has already won the endorsement of retiring state Sen. Richard Codey and the support of South Jersey-based political kingmaker George Norcross.

U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J. 3rd District, who announced his intention to run following the initial Menendez indictments, made his campaign official Friday. He has said he will run regardless of Tammy Murphy's entrance into the race.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J. 2nd District, told the New Jersey Globe he will decide on a run for U.S. Senate in the 2024 Republican primary by January. He floated speculation about a run but has not made it official.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., arrives at Manhattan federal court in New York 10/23/23
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., arrives at Manhattan federal court in New York 10/23/23 (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Mendendez goes on offense

Mendendez attacked both Phil and Tammy Murphy in a statement first reported by the New Jersey Globe shortly after her video went live.

New Jersey's senior senator accused Phil Murphy of "rushing to judgement" in his call for Menendez to resign because he had a "personal, vested interest" in getting him out of office.

“Governor Murphy has said he won’t appoint his wife to the seat, but why would he since there was never a need to? They believe they have to answer to nobody, but I am confident that the people of New Jersey will push back against this blatant maneuver at disenfranchisement."

The incumbent also said Tammy Murphy was a "card carrying Republican" in the early 2000s. He also brought sore points about the Murphy administration including the deaths in veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic and a quote that has haunted the governor about affordability in New Jersey.

"Mrs. Murphy will need to explain why she and the Governor believe that if taxes are your issue, New Jersey is not your state," Menendez said in his statement.

"I'll gladly put up my record of success on behalf of the people of New Jersey against anyone and am confident that when all the facts have been presented and my innocence proven, I’ll continue to do what I’ve always done for the past 30-plus years — deliver results for the people of New Jersey."

Menendez has not announced if he will seek re-electiont to the seat he has held since 2006.

Announced and potential U.S.Senate candidates for the 2024 primary
Announced and potential U.S.Senate candidates for the 2024 primary (Canva)

Other reaction to Tammy Murphy's announcement

Mendham Borough Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner has already entered the Republican side of race. She blasted Tammy Murphy's candidacy as an example of "cronyism that has plagued New Jersey politics for decades."

“Worse yet, ‘Bougie Tammy’ – with her Italian villa and designer label lifestyle – couldn’t possibly relate to the struggles that New Jersey families face daily in this Biden-Murphy economy," Glassner said in a statement. "If Tammy Murphy’s coronation as the Democrat nominee takes place as planned, it will send a loud and clear signal to New Jersey voters that the Democrat machine has learned nothing from the sad saga of ‘Gold Bar Bob.’"

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. 6th District, was more supportive of Murphy's candidacy on his campaign X account.

"First Lady Tammy Murphy's advocacy on behalf of women and all New Jerseyans has been instrumental to our progress. She has done incredible work on maternal mortality, climate change education and so much more. I'm glad to see her running for the US Senate," Pallone wrote.

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