Race to watch: 10 candidates, including frontrunner Andy Kim, are vying for Sen. Bob Menendez’s seat

Menendez, who has held New Jersey's U.S. Senate seat for nearly two decades, has said he would consider running in the general election as an independent if acquitted.

A closeup of Rep. Andrew Kim

File photo: Incumbent candidate for New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Andrew Kim, D-N.J., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington (Nicholas Kamm/Pool via AP, File)

A little over two months ago, New Jersey’s embattled U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez announced he would not run in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

But Menendez did leave open the possibility of running for re-election if he is cleared of all charges at his ongoing federal corruption trial.

In the meantime, 10 candidates are on next Tuesday’s primary ballot, including three Democrats, four Republicans, two independents and one Green Party hopeful.

Democrat Andy Kim

The most well-known candidate seeking the senate seat is 3rd District Congressman Andy Kim.

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On his website, Kim said New Jersey is where he grew up, adding that he’s fighting for his family, his neighbors, the community that raised him and for working families in pursuit of the “American Dream.”

Kim’s top campaign priorities include affordability, strengthening health care, supporting small businesses, creating jobs and protecting the environment.

He also vows to support veterans and reproductive rights, end corruption in government, toughen gun laws and support LGBTQ+ rights.

Kim has received multiple endorsements from a wide range of groups, including the Communications Workers of America.

Larry Hamm
Larry Hamm is a candidate for N.J.’s U.S. Senate seat. (Campaign photo)

Democrat Lawrence Hamm

Lawrence Hamm, the chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, was born in Newark, New Jersey. He describes himself as a relentless advocate for African Americans, human rights and civil rights for all oppressed people.

Hamm said that, if elected, he will push for universal Medicare, reparations for slavery, affordable housing for all and laws to stop police brutality.

Hamm’s platform also includes efforts to curb climate change, strengthen gun control and voting rights laws, eliminate poverty, end food insecurity, cut military spending, increase the federal minimum wage and increase taxes on big corporations.

Patricia Campos Medina
Patricia Campos Medina is a candidate for N.J.’s U.S. Senate seat. (Campaign photo)

Democrat Patricia Campos-Medina

Patricia Campos-Medina was born in El Salvador and came to the U.S. when she was 14.

On her website, she said her parents’ struggles as low-wage workers in the hotel and restaurant industry inspired her to become a policy expert on labor, immigrant integration, voting rights and voter mobilization. She is running to expand opportunities for working-class New Jerseyans, expand educational opportunities for children and strengthen immigration policy.

Curtis Bashaw
Curtis Bashaw is a candidate for N.J.’s U.S. Senate seat. (Campaign photo)

Republican Curtis Bashaw

Curtis Bashaw is a Cape May businessman and real estate developer.

Bashaw said he’s running because he wants to fight for freedom, opportunity and security for all New Jerseyans.

Bashaw said on PBS’s ”Chat Box”  that he has campaigned in all 21 counties. He said inflation is a massive issue, that the country is going in the wrong direction and small businesses must be unshackled from over-regulation to restore opportunity.

Bashaw has also voiced support for law enforcement, border security, personal freedoms and parental rights.

Albert Harshaw
Albert Harshaw is a candidate for N.J.’s U.S. Senate seat. (Campaign photo)

Republican Albert Harshaw

Albert Harshaw is a business owner who grew up in New Jersey and began working at age 14.

On his website, he said he will work on fostering bipartisan collaboration that advances military capabilities, educational opportunities, research initiatives and production capacities.

He also stressed the importance of investing in early education, reentering the space race, strengthening the manufacturing industry, fulfilling international military and diplomatic policies, and strengthening national security and domestic infrastructure.

Justin Murphy
Justin Murphy is a candidate for N.J.’s U.S. Senate seat. (Campaign photo)

Republican Justin Murphy

Justin Murphy dedicated his U.S. Senate campaign to the men and women of the armed forces, adding that he’s running to represent New Jersey in Washington because “I care.”

In a statement to InsiderNJ, he said he supports abolishing the IRS and instituting a flat tax. Among other issues in his platform are strengthening the border and pro-adoption policies.

His campaign also calls for combatting government waste, fraud and abuse, and ensuring that every American owns a health savings account. He vows to oppose any attempt by the government to take away the constitutional right to bear arms.

Christine Serrano Glassner
Christine Serrano Glassner is a candidate for N.J.’s U.S. Senate seat. (Campaign photo)

Republican Christine Serrano-Glassner

Christine Serrano Glassner grew up in Mendham and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. She is currently the mayor of the Borough of Mendham.

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According to her website, she wants to fight inflation and work on maintaining Social Security and Medicare. She also wants to strengthen America’s health care system, support police, crack down on crime, fight antisemitism and improve border security.

She said she is happy to have former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, and “I look forward to serving as his steadfast ally in Washington and working hand-in-hand with him to Drain the Swamp and Make America Great Again.”

Nick Carducci
Nick Carducci is a candidate for N.J.’s U.S. Senate seat. (Campaign photo)

Independent Nick Carducci

Nick Carducci is the product manager at Thumbprint. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Johns Hopkins University and studied public finance and international law at Monmouth University.

According to a news release, his campaign calls for a new tax policy that retires Social Security by lowering income taxes and ending tax minimums while fulfilling Social Security liabilities, which as of 2023 is $23 trillion.

He said that consumer, government and some corporate debt is unsustainable and inflationary. Carducci wants to work on immigration reform and implement an age-based income tax system.

Patricia Mooneyham
Patricia Mooneyham is a candidate for N.J.’s U.S. Senate seat. (Campaign photo)

Independent Patricia Mooneyham

Patricia Mooneyham was born and raised in New Jersey. Her career experience includes working as an educator and administrator. According to Vote Better2024, Mooneyham’s passion for public service is rooted in her commitment to making a positive impact for her fellow New Jerseyans.

Mooneyham vows to  revitalize manufacturing and agricultural sectors and promote renewable energy and technology. She wants to reform health care by expanding Medicaid eligibility and implementing innovative payment models. She also wants to work on immigration, education and election reform.

Christina Khalil
Christina Khalil is a candidate for N.J.’s U.S. Senate seat. (Campaign photo)

Green Party candidate Christina Khalil

Christina Khalil, a New Jersey native, was raised in foster care. She believes that one of the keys to freedom lay in education.

On her website, Khalil said her platform includes immigration reform to protect families from abuses. She said, if elected, she will prioritize investing in clean and reusable energy, fight for universal health care, improve the nation’s incarceration system, address the housing crisis, expand community investment and work to improve animal welfare and wildlife conservation.

Khalil proposed ending the FICA Tax and declaring a permanent payroll tax holiday, while ensuring that Medicare and Social Security remain sufficiently funded by congressional appropriations.

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