First Lady Tammy Murphy announced this morning that she will run for the US Senate seat currently held by Senator Bob Menendez, who – facing federal bribery charges – is up for reelection next year.
In an online video announcing her candidacy, Murphy discussed two main initiatives she fought for as First Lady: maternity care and climate change.
Saying that she did not have to worry about surviving childbirth because the money in the family bank account and the color of her skin would get her the best of care, Murphy said that is not the case for many women.
“In New Jersey, women and babies – almost exclusively in Black and Brown communities – were dying at a higher rate than almost every other state in the country. So, I realized I had a platform to help moms who aren’t nearly as fortunate as I am,” Murphy said. “Even though I knew this would be a tough fight, I got to work.”
Murphy launched Nurture NJ in 2019, a statewide initiative committed to transforming New Jersey into the safest and most equitable state in the nation to deliver and raise a baby. Broadcast news clips that were part of the video mentioned how New Jersey has gone from 47th in the nation in maternal deaths to 29th. According to Murphy, “We have a long way to go but we have made real progress on this initiative. I am proud that New Jersey is now a safer place to give birth to a child.”
Climate change was another focus of Murphy’s candidacy announcement. She said she led the charge in putting climate change education in the state’s k-12 school systems, with New Jersey being – so far – the only state to do so. Back in 2020, she met with more than 130 educators from across the state who were charged with reviewing and revising the existing student learning standards. Additionally, Murphy visited elementary, middle, and high schools across New Jersey that already implemented strong climate change education and sustainability initiatives.
“Teaching students about climate change can make a difference in their ability to succeed in a new green economy,” Murphy said in this morning’s video.
The First Lady also claimed a role in assisting female-led startup companies. Along with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, she helped launched the New Jersey chapter of Golden Seeds, a nation-wide angel investor network dedicated to investing in women-owned startups.
Discussing the political climate in our nation’s capital, Murphy said that Washington, D.C. “is filled with too many people more interested in getting rich or getting on camera than getting things done for [people].”
“We have complicated issues, and solving them won’t be easy. However, nothing worth doing ever is,” Murphy said.
In her closing comments, she said she is ready to work every day in the US Senate “for you, your family, and our country.”
Born in 1965, Murphy is a native of Virginia and a graduate of the University of Virginia (B.A., English and Communications, 1987). She and Gov. Phil Murphy have been married for 30 years and together have four children.
In the Democratic primary race, she will face Senator Menendez, US Representative Andy Kim (D-3rd), progressive activist Larry Hamm, and Seaside Municipal Planning Director Kevin Cupples.
Republican candidates for US Senate include: Daniel Cruz, a teacher and former member of the Andover Township Board of Education; Christine Serrano Glassner, Mayor of Mendham Borough; Gregg Mele, attorney and Libertarian nominee for Governor of New Jersey in 2021; Shirley Maia-Cusick, a Brazilian immigrant and business owner; and attorney Gregg Mele of the Clark-based law firm Mele & Associates.
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