NJ Politics Digest: Sen. Bob Menendez Set To Kick Off Reelection Bid

Sen. Robert Menendez.
Sen. Bob Menendez. Facebook

He survived a federal corruption trial, and now Sen. Robert Menendez is preparing to tackle his next challenge when he kicks off his reelection campaign at a planned event today.

Menendez is expected to be joined by Gov. Phil Murphy, Sen. Cory Booker and other top state Democrats during the event in Union City. Menendez will then head south for an event at Rowan University, where he is scheduled to be joined by state Senate President Steve Sweeney, according to reports.

Menendez is facing a challenge from Republican Bob Hugin, a former pharmaceutical executive. The two-term Democrat is the favorite in the contest, with a Quinnipiac University Poll released earlier this month showing him with a 49 to 32 percent lead over the challenger.

The same poll showed 38 percent of voters believe Menendez was involved in “serious wrongdoing” regarding the corruption charges against him. A jury deadlocked on Menendez’s guilt or innocence following a 2 1/2-month trial last year. Earlier this year prosecutors dropped the case against him.

Menendez’s co-defendant, Dr. Salomon Melgen, was sentenced to 17 years in prison as a result of his Medicare fraud conviction in a separate case that was tried in Florida.

Quote of the Day: “We are going roll this out and expand it as it is, and color us open minded as to what else we may want to tweak.” — Gov. Phil Murphy, on effforts to expand the state’s medical marijuana program.

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