Tammy Murphy

Tammy Murphy Suspends Senate Campaign

First Lady Tammy Murphy announced Sunday that she is dropping out of the US Senate race, clearing the way for Rep. Andy Kim (D-3rd) to win Sen. Bob Menendez’s seat.

Murphy released a video announcing her campaign’s suspension, notably stating, “It is clear to me that continuing in this race will involve waging a very divisive and negative campaign, which I am not willing to do.”

She added that, “with so much at stake for our nation, I will not in good conscience waste resources tearing down a fellow Democrat.”

While Murphy did not mention nor endorse Kim in her announcement, she did say that her focus will now be on ensuring democratic victories up and down the ballot all across New Jersey.

Thus far, Kim has consistently outpolled Murphy, though the race was expected to be tight, in part due to New Jersey’s ballot design system, which is thought to benefit candidates favored by party heads.

In the current ballot design, candidates officially endorsed by the leaders of the local Democratic and Republican parties are listed in a single column or row in a prominent  position known as “the line.”

Kim filed a lawsuit last month in an attempt to redesign the state’s ballot before the June 4 primary, as Murphy was set to get “the line” in some of New Jersey’s most important counties, such as Bergen, Essex, Hudson and more.

The case was heard in US District Court last Monday, but a decision has not yet been made by District Court Judge Zahid Quraishi. When a decision is made, it could have a big impact on New Jersey politics moving forward.

Of note, Attorney General, Matthew J. Platkin declared “the line” unconstitutional in a letter to Judge Quraishi last week.

Kim also released a statement yesterday responding to Murphy’s decision, stating, “Tammy Murphy has been a voice for progress and public service in our state, and I respect her decision to carry on that work as First Lady. Tammy and I both agree that it is critical that we keep this seat, and the Senate, in Democratic control. Unity is vital.”

Alternatively, Menendez said last week that he will not run in the Democratic primary, but did tease the possibility of reentering the race as an independent if he is exonerated at trial.

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