A Democratic Activist Is Primarying Bob Menendez — Even If That’s An Extremely Uphill Battle

A Democratic Activist Is Primarying Bob Menendez — Even If That’s An Extremely Uphill Battle

 A Democratic Activist Is Primarying Bob Menendez — Even If That's An Extremely Uphill Battle

Last month, federal prosecutors decided not to retry Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez after a lengthy corruption case against him ended in mistrial.

Menendez is a free man, but is still facing a renewed Senate Ethics Committee investigation and is somewhat at odds with more left-leaning Democrats. It’s the kind of situation that could lead to a contentious primary with a number of challengers, especially with an energized grassroots base motivated to run for office in the age of Trump.

But Menendez has drawn just one primary challenger: activist and pundit Michael Starr Hopkins.

Hopkins said the speed with which the New Jersey Democratic establishment endorsed the senator following the mistrial drove him to challenge the senator’s re-election bid — as well as Menendez’s post-mistrial statement. (“To those who were digging my political grave so they could jump into my seat, I know who you are and I won’t forget you,” Menendez said in front of the federal courthouse.)

Menendez had faced legal scrutiny over his relationship with a major donor, a Florida ophthalmologist. During the trial, one former US senator Robert Torricelli (who faced his own scrutiny over a donor) worked behind the scenes to position himself as the successor of Menendez’s seat if he was forced to resign from office. But little momentum for a challenge — primarily against New Jersey’s Democratic machine — has materialized.

John Wisniewski, a former progressive candidate for governor and NJ assemblyman, said there’s a slim chance of success for anyone looking to challenge Menendez, who’s already shored up support from Democratic power players including current governor Phil Murphy and popular New Jersey junior senator Cory Booker. The senator also has a hefty amount of cash ($4.1 million dollars) on hand ahead of the April filing deadline.

“Fundraising is going to be tough, we’re not going to go dollar for dollar with Menendez,” said Hopkins, whose campaign has raised $26,268 according to FEC data, but he hopes that New Jerseyans will connect with someone running for office, “who isn’t a party insider.”

Despite the quick lineup behind Menendez, a poll, conducted by the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, found that 51% of New Jersey voters thought that Menendez didn’t deserve re-election and 49% thought that he should resign. The poll surveyed 600 New Jersey adults after the mistrial was declared last November.

The poll also found that New Jerseyans who were informed about the senator’s corruption trial first were more likely to say he didn’t deserve reelection and Hopkins doesn’t shy away from mentioning the corruption charges. Hopkins says that he’s partially running because he wants to protect the senate seat for Democrats. “Losing this one seat, this one vote” could have a major impact on policies (like health care) that protect lots of Americans, Hopkins said.

He’s also running on the heels of Murphy’s 2017 campaign, in which he ran on a litany of liberal goals, from a $15 minimum wage to legalized marijuana. Foreign policy progressives have already complained that Menendez — who holds somewhat more hawkish views on Cuba and Iran than some Democrats — has regained his position as the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Menendez’s campaign didn’t immediately respond for comment.


Love and Share!

You Should See This:

What's The Funniest Drunk Text You've Ever Sent Or Received?
It's Time To Find Out Which Member Of The Tanner Household You're Most Like
24 Small Ways To Be Healthier This Year Even If You're Busy AF
Natalie Portman Telling A Man Off For Standing On Mariah Carey's Dress Is The Most Iconic T...
31 Design Fails That Really Shat The Bed, Aesthetically Speaking
Remember The Dancing Old Man From The Six Flags Commercials? Turns Out He's Super Hot!
People Are Loving Pink's Instagram Pic Of Her Daughter Climbing All Over Her While She Trie...
19 Vegan Soup Recipes You Seriously Have To Try
What's The Craziest Thing About Driving For Uber Or Lyft?
We Know If You Believe In Love At First Sight Based On The Places You'd Like To Visit
These 33 Pics Will Completely Change The Way You Feel About Figure Skating
27 Celebrity Glow-Ups That Will Actually Shock You
Which Random Spot On Planet Earth Should You Be At Right Now?
Leticia James Is Saying She’ll Run For New York Mayor In 2021
Which Romantic Movies Are These Famous Quotes From?
This Fan Got Oscar Isaac To Put His Literal Signature On A FinnPoe Endgame

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *