Andy Kim gains momentum over NJ first lady in Democratic Senate convention to replace Bob Menendez

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Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., reportedly won by a ample separator complete nan state's first woman Tammy Murphy successful New Jersey's first Democratic normal connected Saturday. 

The third-term congressman's early triumph against Murphy successful Monmouth County was significant, arsenic they will proceed to compete successful nan superior title to person nan state's 20 different counties they are nan champion Democratic campaigner to put guardant successful nan title to switch embattled longtime Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.

"If we tin triumph here, wherever they’ve lived for decades here, I deliberation it sends a very beardown connection crossed each of nan counties," Kim said astir Murphy and her husband, Gov. Phil Murphy. 

The powerful mates person resided successful Monmouth County for astir 25 years, according to nan New York Times. Meanwhile, Kim represents portion of nan aforesaid region successful Congress. 

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"The power that we person is real, and it should not beryllium underestimated," Kim said aft securing nan county-line successful Monmouth, meaning his sanction will look connected nan ballot pinch different Democratic candidates endorsed by nan region successful a azygous column, making those connected nan statement formation look much morganatic to voters. 

Kim secured 56.8% of nan vote, while Murphy won 38.8%, Politico reported. Another candidate, progressive labour activistic Patricia Campos-Medina, took 4.2%. 

That intends Kim secured a 265-181 triumph successful nan normal wherever 466 votes were cast.

Kim had been nan presumed underdog fixed nan first lady's high-profile status, fundraising powerfulness and early support from region leaders successful immoderate of nan state's astir Democratic areas, according to Politico. Yet nan aforesaid time she saw conclusion successful Monmouth County, located on nan Jersey shore, Murphy picked up an endorsement from nan Passaic County Democrats. 

"[Tammy Murphy] is thrilled by nan groundswell of support she has received from religion leaders, organization members, elected officials, unions, and now Passaic County," spokesperson Alex Altman said successful a connection obtained by Politico. "Tammy is grateful for each nan votes she received coming from Monmouth County and is thankful to each nan delegates that stayed successful nan room during nan agelong day. Tammy congratulated Andy connected a difficult fought triumph coming successful Monmouth and she looks guardant to continuing her activity to build a beardown conjugation crossed nan authorities and earning nan support of New Jersey voters."

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The June superior is shaping up arsenic a battle, truthful far, betwixt Kim and Murphy, though different Democrats are besides campaigning successful nan race. 

On Friday, Alex Zdan, 38, a erstwhile news newsman for News 12 New Jersey, announced his candidacy arsenic a Republican successful nan title to switch Menendez. 

Last month, Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., notably backed Kim successful nan congressman's bid to triumph nan contested superior for New Jersey's Senate seat. 

Fetterman was an early proponent of calling for Menendez's ouster from Congress aft national prosecutors charged Menendez, his woman and business associates pinch taking bribes successful rate and golden bars successful speech for helping nan authorities of Egypt — and, successful a later indictment, Qatar arsenic well.

Menendez and nan different defendants person pleaded not guilty, and nan legislator has vowed to conflict nan charges. Unlike nan first clip he was indicted — charges that yet led to a hung assemblage successful 2017 — Menendez has mislaid support wrong nan Democratic Party successful his location state, wherever his power was erstwhile virtually unassailable.

Amid a sounded soul struggle among New Jersey Democrats who person called for Menendez's ouster and are competing to win him, Menendez hasn't said if he'll tally again and has truthful acold withstood calls for his resignation. Fetterman joins chap Pennsylvanian Gov. Josh Shapiro successful wading into nan race. Shapiro has raised money for Murphy, according to her campaign.

The Associated Press contributed to this reported.