Tammy Murphy, the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy, announced Wednesday morning that she is running for the state’s U.S. Senate seat currently held by Robert Menendez, a Democrat who is facing federal corruption charges.
In her video announcement, Murphy cited her work on infant mortality and climate change and said, “Washington is filled with too many people more interested in getting rich…than getting things done for you,” while a picture of Sen. Menendez flashed on camera. She would be the first woman in history to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.
Other Democrats vying to win June’s Democratic primary are U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, who announced his candidacy after Menendez was indicted for corruption, bribery and conspiring to act as a foreign agent for the government of Egypt. Kim has raised over a million dollars to date.
And, despite his low polling numbers, Menendez indicated last week that he could run again, saying, “I’ll gladly put up my record of success on behalf of the people of New Jersey against Andy Kim or anyone else.”
Though Murphy, 58, has never held elected office, she’s a top Democratic fundraiser and has launched successful initiatives to lower infant mortality and address climate change, which she cites in the video. Prior to launching Nurture NJ, the state ranked 47th in maternal deaths; it is now 27th. She also advocated for climate change to be taught in public schools; New Jersey is now the only state in the country in which schools are required to do so.
Already Murphy has received support from the Democratic establishment, including the endorsement of state Sen. Richard Codey. This could prove crucial in a state with a controversial primary system in which the endorsement of county party leaders means top placement on the ballot and access to resources.
Still, her candidacy is subject to claims of nepotism; the progressive activist group the Fair Vote Alliance said in a statement Wednesday they are “offended” Menendez’s alleged “corruption” would be “replaced with nepotism.”
In her video announcement, Murphy talks about her youth and college education in Virginia, her work as a finance executive, where she met her husband, and raising their four children. The couple have been married since 1993, and live in a $9 million mansion on the Navesink River in Middletown.
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