TRENTON — New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy is suspending her Democratic primary campaign for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by indicted U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez.

Murphy made the announcement in a video posted to X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday afternoon.

The first lady said remaining in the race would mean waging a "divisive and negative campaign" which she was not willing to do.

“New Jersey's next senator must focus on the issues of our time and not be mired in tearing others down while dividing the people of our party and state,” she said.

RELATED: Indicted NJ Sen. Menendez says he won’t run in Democratic primary

Tammy Murphy speaks to the press in Paramus 3/4/24 (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Tammy Murphy speaks to the press in Paramus 3/4/24 (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

1 major Democratic primary candidate remains

It appears that Murphy's decision to suspend her campaign clears the way for U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J. 3rd District, to win the Democratic primary on June 4.

Kim launched his campaign for Menendez's seat in September, just weeks after federal prosecutors unveiled an indictment against the sitting senator.

"I feel compelled to run against him. Not something I expected to do, but NJ deserves better. We cannot jeopardize the Senate or compromise our integrity," Kim said in a statement announcing his campaign.

Three other Democrats have launched longshot primary campaigns including Newark school board member Lawrence Hamm, Patricia Campos-Medina, and Patrick Merrill, the New Jersey Globe reported.

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Bob Menendez said he won't run as Democrat

Menendez, D-NJ, said on Thursday that he would not run in the Democratic primary in the face of federal corruption charges.

Menendez left open the possibility that he would reenter the race as an independent if he was exonerated at trial. He has repeatedly denied the accusations.

The senator and his wife Nadine Menendez are fighting federal bribery charges. Two business associates are also charged but a third pleaded guilty earlier this month and agreed to testify against Menendez at trial.

RELATED: NJ businessman agrees to testify against Menendez in corruption case

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