New Jersey’s first lady Tammy Murphy suspends Senate campaign for Bob Menendez’s seat

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Tammy Murphy, the wife of New Jersey governor Phil Murphy, suspended her bid for U.S. Senate on Sunday, after running a campaign that critics claimed was nepotistic.  

The first lady of the Garden State had been vying to win the Democratic primary for the upcoming U.S. Senate election, in light of Sen. Bob Menendez’s federal corruption charges. On Thursday, Menendez indicated that he would not run as a Democrat and entertained the idea of running as an independent.

Murphy’s main contender in the race was Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., who has been in office since 2019. In a video posted on X, she explained the “enormous challenges” that face the state of New Jersey. 

“After many busy, invigorating, and yes, challenging months. I am suspending my Senate campaign today,” Murphy said.

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FILE – New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, left, and first lady Tammy Murphy attend the National Governors Association summer meeting, July 15, 2022, in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

The New Jersey Democrat claimed that her main reason for leaving the race involved her desire to not “wag[e] a very divisive and negative campaign.”

“With Donald Trump on the ballot and so much at stake for our nation, I will not in good conscience waste resources tearing down a fellow Democrat instead of talking about process and politics,” Murphy said. “My campaign has been about solutions for families and a vision for the next generation.”

The first lady also criticized former President Donald Trump in her speech, calling him a “dangerous threat” and encouraging Democrats to unify the country.  

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Tammy Murphy speaks to fans at the Red Bull Arena

HARRISON, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 20: Tammy Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey and Club Chair of NJ/NY Gotham FC, addresses fans during the homecoming celebration for the 2023 NWSL Champions event at Red Bull Arena on November 20, 2023, in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images)

“As we face grave, dangerous threats on the national level, thanks to Donald Trump and far-right extremists, it’s time to unify, not divide,” she added. “I will now focus entirely on reelecting President Biden and ensuring Democratic victories up and down the ballot all across New Jersey.”

“I look forward to partnering with you to ensure our communities are affordable, our rights and freedoms protected, and our futures safe and secure.”

Murphy’s critics have given her flack for running a campaign that appeared nepotistic, considering her husband’s position as New Jersey governor. Days after the first-time candidate announced her Senate bid, she was endorsed by four New Jersey congressmen. 

Andy Kim speaking

Representative Andy Kim, a Democrat from New Jersey, speaks during an American Federation of Government Employees rally for worker’s rights on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on March 29, 2022. (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Fox News Digital reached out to the Kim and Murphy campaigns for comment.

Fox News Digital’s Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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