Andy Kim’s path to US Senate clearer after NJ first lady Tammy Murphy suspends campaign

Andy Kim’s path to US Senate clearer after NJ first lady Tammy Murphy suspends campaign
Bryan Ke
24 days ago
Rep. Andy Kim’s (D, NJ-3) path to the U.S. senate is clearer after New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, his greatest opponent in the June 4 Democratic primary, suspended her campaign on Sunday.
Key points:
  • Murphy, the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ), announced her withdrawal from the June 4 primary in a video uploaded to X on Sunday, saying in part, “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.”
  • “New Jersey’s next senator must focus on the issues of our time and not be mired in tearing others down while dividing the people of our party and state,” Murphy continued.
  • Kim expressed respect for Murphy’s decision to suspend her campaign and has called her a “voice for progress and public service in our state” in his statement following the announcement. He said in part, “I look forward to working alongside her, and the Governor, between now and November, and I hope to work alongside them to fight for New Jersey if I’m elected to represent our amazing state in the U.S. Senate.”
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The details:
  • Murphy’s decision came as Kim continues his lawsuit to end the state’s practice of the so-called “party line,” where the ballot is structured to prioritize county leaders’ endorsed primary candidates in the first column. This move eventually gives the endorsed candidate in New Jersey an edge in the Democratic primary election over others who are listed in subsequent hard-to-find columns, which Kim refers to as “ballot Siberia.”
  • If Kim wins his legal proceedings, all candidates would be then put in the same category. “It’s the right thing for our democracy and the right thing for our state,” Anthony DeAngelo, Kim’s senior adviser, told Gothamist,
  • Despite the party line system, Kim reportedly performed well in his Democratic campaign conventions from February to March, winning eight counties, the same number won by Murphy.
  • Murphy and Kim are vying for the position of indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who has been accused of bribery and obstruction of justice. If elected to the seat, Kim would become the first Korean American U.S. senator in the nation’s history.
  • An anonymous source familiar with Murphy’s campaign strategy told ABC that Murphy’s decision to withdraw was based on her unwillingness to compete in what they described as a “bloody, divisive primary against another Democrat.”
What’s next:
  • Kim and Murphy were the two front-runners for Menendez’s position. Other candidates still in the Democratic primary race for the Senate against Kim include Dr. Patricia Campos Medina, Kevin Cupples, Lawrence Hamm and Patrick Merrill.
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