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New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy announces run for U.S. Senate

New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy has eyes on Sen. Bob Menendez's job
New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy has eyes on Sen. Bob Menendez's job 02:03

NEW YORK -- New Jersey's first lady is throwing her hat into the ring to replace embattled U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez.

CBS New York spoke with one of her opponents and has reaction from voters.

Though she's never held public office, Tammy Murphy, the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy, says she's ready to move out of the governor's mansion and down to Washington as Sen. Murphy.

The mother of four cites her work as first lady to improve maternal health care in New Jersey and combat climate change.

"I'm running for Senate because we owe it to our kids to do better," Murphy said.

I’m Tammy Murphy and I’m running for U.S. Senate to fight for New Jersey, our families and our democracy. Will you join me?

Posted by Tammy Murphy on Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The Republican front-runner for the seat, Christine Serrano Glassner, came out swinging, calling Murphy's announcement an example of cronyism, adding, "Bougie Tammy couldn't possibly relate to the struggles that New Jersey families face daily in this Biden/Murphy economy."

Murphy joins a crowded field of fellow Democrats vying for Sen. Menendez's seat, including Congressman Andy Kim, real estate investor Kyle Jasey and community organizer Larry Hamm.

"I think it's going to make the race more interesting," Hamm said.

When asked if this is an example of cronyism, Hamm said, "Well, she enters the race with enormous advantages. I mean, she said this herself in her video. She's wealthy, she's white, and she's the wife of the current governor of the state of New Jersey."

New Jersey voters that spoke to CBS New York had mixed opinions.

"It's just terrible. When you think about all the corruption that goes on and it makes you wonder, is it going to continue? Makes no sense," Deb Szuper said.

"I'm not fully aware of her qualifications, but I like the idea of someone new coming in with some fresh ideas," Kevin Murphy said.

Menendez reacted Murphy's announcement by telling the editor of the New Jersey Globe that the governor's calls for him to resign were clearly just a blatant maneuver at disenfranchisement.

The New Jersey primary election is set for June 4, 2024.

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