More News:

June 03, 2024

Andy Kim wins Democratic primary for New Jersey's U.S. Senate seat

Incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez, who is on trial for corruption charges, did not seek the party's nomination. Kim will face Republican Curtis Bashaw in November.

2024 Election U.S. Senate
US Senate NJ Kevin R. Wexler/USA TODAY NETWORK

Andy Kim is the winner of Tuesday's Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in New Jersey. He defeated Lawrence Hamm and Patricia Campos-Medina. Incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat who's on trial for federal bribery charges, is not seeking his party's nomination but may campaign as an independent.

U.S. Rep. Andy Kim is projected to win New Jersey's Democratic primary election for U.S. Senate in a race that was spawned by the federal indictment of longtime Sen. Robert Menendez.

Kim, who is wrapping up his third term in the state's 3rd District of the U.S. House, was declared the winner shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m., according to the Associated Press. He defeated Lawrence Hamm and Patricia Campos-Medina.

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY: Curtis Bashaw wins U.S. Senate primary in GOP bid to take over Sen. Bob Menendez's seat

"What we achieved over the last 8 months is remarkable,” Kim wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “We built a stunningly powerful grassroots movement that took down the unfair ballot line and changed NJ politics forever. Now we are ready to take our movement for change to the US Senate!”

Kim will now move on to face Republican Curtis Bashaw in the November general election. Bashaw won his party's nomination on Tuesday night. A Republican has not been elected to the U.S. Senate in New Jersey since 1972.

In 2019, Kim became the first Democratic member of congress of Korean descent. His district covers parts of Burlington, Mercer and Monmouth Counties. In Congress, he's been an outspoken defender of abortion rights, an advocate for clean energy investments and a proponent of health care changes that would expand coverage and reduce out-of-pocket costs.

This year's Senate race was altered by the federal corruption charges brought last year against Menendez, who's on trial for allegedly taking bribes in exchange for helping foreign governments and businessmen. Menendez opted not to run for reelection as a Democrat, but said he intends to file a petition to appear on the ballot as an independent in November's general election.

MORE N.J. ELECTION RESULTS: 1st District Republican primary | 2nd District Democratic primary | 3rd District primaries

In February, Kim shook up the primary race by filing a federal lawsuit that challenged the legality of New Jersey's controversial "county line" primary ballot format. At the time, Tammy Murphy, the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy, was Kim's main Democratic opponent. With broad support in New Jersey's most populous counties, Murphy had stood to benefit from the primary ballot format that historically has given favorable positioning to candidates who are endorsed by the party establishment.

But Murphy ended her campaign in March, days before a federal judge ruled that New Jersey would need to adopt a different ballot format for this year's Democratic primary. She said she did not want to wage "a very divisive and negative campaign" that would have wasted resources.

Newark School Board member Lawrence Hamm and former AFL-CIO Legislative Director Patricia Campos-Medina were projected to fall to Kim by wide margins.

Hamm is a longtime civil rights activist ran on a progressive platform calling for police reform, Medicare for all, stronger union rights and an increased federal minimum wage. Hamm previously was as the New Jersey state chairman for the 2020 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, an he founded the People's Organization for Progress.

Campos-Medina is a labor activist who supports stable incomes and health care access for low-wage workers. She came to the United States from El Salvador when she was 14 and has called for a more just and humane immigration system. Campos-Medina also advocates for abortion rights, housing affordability and gun control measures.