NJ Senate Candidate and NJ First Lady Tammy Murphy Suspends Campaign

By Jerry McConway, updated on March 25, 2024

The seat currently held by Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) will not be defended, so Democrats are tripping over each other to win this primary race.

One of the top contenders for that seat, New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, however, will no longer be one of those names, as she has announced that she is suspending her campaign.

Talking Points…
- Lagging behind in polling
- Time to suspend the campaign
- Analysis

Murphy Lagging Behind in Polling

Murphy, the wife of Governor Phil Murphy, was supposed to be the automatic frontrunner for the race once it seemed clear that Menendez would either be in jail or forced to resign. Now tied up in a handful of indictments that appear to be an open-and-shut bribery case against him, Menendez has formally announced that he will not seek re-election as a Democrat.

Governor Murphy has polled fairly well in office, so it was only natural to think that his wife, Tammy, would be received well by voters, but that did not happen. It would appear that New Jersey is making a turn away from the establishment, instead backing Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.), who has only been in office since 2019.

Kim has painted himself as anti-establishment, but he has supported Biden in every vote he has cast, so this is not a moderate, and he surely seems to be in bed with the establishment. Even so, he has managed to work this angle, nearly doubling Tammy Murphy in primary polling. The last poll taken on this front was in January, but Kim was leading Murphy 32-20.

Tammy Murphy Suspends Campaign

Murphy was not only trailing in polling but there were also concerns of nepotism with her running for a Senate seat. Murphy has finally decided to suspend her campaign since it has become clear that voters are looking elsewhere for a Senate candidate. She stated:

"After many busy, invigorating, and yes, challenging months. I am suspending my Senate campaign today."

She later added:

"With Donald Trump on the ballot and so much at stake for our nation, I will not in good conscience waste resources tearing down a fellow Democrat instead of talking about process and politics.

"My campaign has been about solutions for families and a vision for the next generation."

Murphy also made sure she took the usual shot at Trump, calling him a national threat, just as all of the other big-name Democrats have been doing since 2016. On this front, she stated:

"As we face grave, dangerous threats on the national level, thanks to Donald Trump and far-right extremists, it's time to unify, not divide. I will now focus entirely on reelecting President Biden and ensuring Democratic victories up and down the ballot all across New Jersey.

"I look forward to partnering with you to ensure our communities are affordable, our rights and freedoms protected, and our futures safe and secure."

Analysis

While Governor Murphy has had solid approval ratings for the majority of his term, I think people are honestly getting sick of politics becoming a family business. Even though New Jersey is predominately considered a blue state, there are enough conservatives in that state to cause a stink if they so choose.

This was the right move for Murphy, who probably should have waited until her husband left office before running to avoid this very conflict. So, for now, it is Kim's show, and it would appear that he will be facing off against the winner of a very crowded GOP field for the right to fill Menendez's seat.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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