Menendez primary opponent hasn’t raised a dime

Gwen Diakos, who announced last summer that she planned to challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez in this June’s Democratic primary, has yet to raise any money in her bid.

According to the federal Election Commission, Diakos has filed nothing with the agency since she opened her Senate account in September. Menendez, by contrast, is sitting on a war chest of $8.1 million for his re-election effort.

Diakos is a former Republican who changed her registration to Democrat just prior to announcing her bid.  Her past registration and Republican voting record, as well as statements she made on various internet sites, including a 2009 post to a Facebook page operated by Newt Gingrich in which she calls global warming “a liberal hoax,”  had some Democrats wondering if she was a GOP plant.

Diakos dismissed her past registration and said she had voted in past GOP primaries to make sure Republicans nominated a weak candidate.

In January, Republican state Sen. Joe Kyrillos announced he was running for U.S. Senate.  Morris County College sociology Prof. Bader Qarmout of Newton is planning his own announcement for today. Ocean County Republican Joe Rullo also is in the hunt for the nomination.  Rullo, who opened his campaign account in October, also has not filed anything further with the FEC.  

  Menendez primary opponent hasn’t raised a dime