Bob Menendez files as independent Senate candidate

ByMark Crudele ABCNews logo
Monday, June 3, 2024

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez filed a petition Monday to get on the U.S. Senate ballot in the Garden State as an independent candidate.

In a statement on Monday, Menendez said he submitted more than enough signatures to run and that he intends to continue doing his work as an "independent Democrat."

He had 2,465 signatures on his petition, according to the New Jersey Department of State.

Independent candidates need 800 signatures to get on the U.S. Senate general election ballot in New Jersey.

The deadline to file signatures is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, which is also the date of New Jersey's partisan primaries.

Menendez also addressed his ongoing corruption trial, where he is accused of accepting cash, gold bars, luxury wristwatches and other perks from New Jersey businessmen in exchange for official favors to benefit the businessmen and the governments of Egypt and Qatar.

Menendez, 70, has denied all wrongdoing and previously called the prosecution "overzealous."

"I am more confident than ever that New Jerseyans and the rest of the American public will see me exonerated of what I am being accused of, and I will be re-elected to the Senate once again," Menendez wrote.

Menendez decided not to run in New Jersey's Democratic Senate primary while under indictment. He said in March he wouldn't seek another term as a Democrat but left open the possibility of running in November as an independent.

"I will not file for the Democratic primary this June," he said in a video statement at the time. "I am hopeful that my exoneration will take place this summer and allow me to pursue my candidacy as an independent Democrat in the general election."

ABC News reached out to Menendez's campaign and office for comment.

In a statement to ABC News, Rep. Andy Kim, who is running in the Democratic Senate primary and entered the race last fall in response to Menendez's indictment, wrote: "Americans are fed up with politicians putting their own personal benefit ahead of what's right for the country. Everyone knows Bob Menendez isn't running for the people of New Jersey, he's doing it for himself. It's beyond time for change and I'm stepping up to restore integrity back into the U.S. Senate."

The New Jersey Globe was the first to report on Menendez's plans to file as an independent candidate.

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