New Jersey Globe

With the Primary Election for the United States Senate just a few months away, Jersey City Mayor and 2025 New Jersey Gubernatorial candidate Steven Fulop today announced he is switching his endorsement for the seat currently held by embattled Senator, incumbent Robert Menendez., who faces federal bribery charges.

Fulop, who early on in the campaign supported First Lady Tammy Murphy for the Democratic nomination, has withdrawn that support in favor of south Jersey Congressman Andy Kim.

Fulop, in a statement released this morning, said, “I was an early supporter of Tammy Murphy for Senate but it’s no secret I’ve been disappointed with the campaign and how it has been conducted. I’ve expressed that over the last two months repeatedly both privately and publicly, and at this point, it’s clear to me that I was wrong with my early support and endorsement of Tammy Murphy for Senate.

After watching the county conventions, I believe that Andy Kim has proven that he’s the better candidate, with a clearer message, and he brings a better chance of success in November. It’s never easy to admit when mistakes are made, but I should have waited longer before endorsing.

Clearly, this campaign has become a catalyst for the backbone of the Democratic Party to be saying loud and clear that things need to change in New Jersey. I agree with them.

At this point, I don’t think it’s in the state’s best interest for Tammy to continue her campaign. As the Mayor of Jersey City, I’ll do what I think is right and advocate for Andy Kim to my constituents as the best choice as the next U.S. Senator.”

At county conventions over the weekend, Rep. Kim handily defeated Murphy in Morris and Ocean Counties, however, at Camden’s county convention, Murphy was the winner, as Kim and candidate Patricia Campos Medina could not attend because they were not invited.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Attorney General Matt Platkin’s office issued a letter announcing that he thinks the county line is unconstitutional.  The Platkin letter, coincidentally, comes a day before a hearing today on the county line question.  Congressman Kim will argue that it is unconstitutional and should be barred from June’s primary.  Judge Zahid N. Quraishi will hear arguments in the case.

Kim believes the county-line system, where party-endorsed candidates are placed in a single row or column, instead of being grouped by the office being sought, violates a candidates’ constitutional rights because they face an automatic disadvantage on where they are placed on the ballot.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who is challenging freshman, District 8 Rep. Rob Menendez in the June Primary, issued a statement this morning saying, “I applaud Attorney General Platkin’s independence and moral clarity on the issue. The legal reasoning he cited is precisely why I filed an amicus brief supporting Representative Kim’s lawsuit. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, it’s time to abolish the line and put we the people back in charge of our democracy.”

The county line system is used in 19 of New Jersey’s 21 counties.

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