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Senator Bob Menendez to Run as ‘Independent Democrat’ if Cleared of Charges

Indicted Sen. Bob Menendez to seek reelection as ‘independent Democrat’ if exonerated

Senator Bob Menendez, amidst his legal battles, declared on Thursday that he won’t seek reelection this November as a Democratic candidate. Instead, he aims to run as an “independent” Democrat, provided he can steer clear of imprisonment.

The three-term New Jersey senator expressed his intention to vie for another term only if he’s cleared later this year of the public corruption and bribery charges he faces, a scenario he anticipates.

Menendez pointed fingers at Democratic contenders vying to take his place, accusing them of overly focusing on his legal troubles and muddying political discourse. “You deserve to hear from those who wish to represent you about what they would do for you and your families in the future,” he remarked in a YouTube video.

Senator Bob Menendez

Senator Bob Menendez (Credits: ABC News)

Consequently, he announced his decision not to file for the Democratic primary in June. His optimism lies in the possibility of exoneration by summer, enabling him to pursue an independent Democratic candidacy in the general election.

Maintaining his innocence against the array of charges, including bribery and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Egypt, Menendez reiterated his refusal to yield to calls for resignation from Democratic colleagues.

With campaign donations dwindling and poll numbers showing single-digit figures against leading Democratic rivals such as Rep. Andy Kim and Tammy Murphy, wife of Governor Phil Murphy, Menendez acknowledged the disappointment and hurt among his supporters due to the accusations.

He asserted, “All I can ask of you is to withhold judgment until justice takes place.” Meanwhile, he pledged to persist in his efforts, as he has for the past 19 years, to advocate for New Jersey and its residents, striving for a more prosperous and secure future.

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