GOP expresses confidence as Sen. Bob Menendez says he may run as an independent

 March 27, 2024

While Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez has spent the better part of two decades in Washington, some New Jersey Republicans feel they now have an opportunity to replace him.

According to Fox News, the feeling grew stronger this week after Menendez announced that he will run for reelection as an independent candidate should his criminal charges result in an acquittal.

Menendez and his associates indicted in bribery scandal

The Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted Menendez, his wife, as well as co-defendants Fred Daibes and Jose Uribe on bribery and corruption charges last September and his case is expected to go to trial this summer.

Federal prosecutors allege that FBI agents uncovered nearly $480,000 in cash at Menendez's home along with $100,000 worth of gold bars.

"The FBI has made investigating public corruption a top priority since our founding — nothing has changed," FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said in a statement.

"The alleged conduct in this conspiracy damages the public’s faith in our system of government and brings undue scorn to the honest and dedicated public servants who carry out their duties on a daily basis," Smith declared.

GOP candidates insist that voters have had enough of Menendez

Hotel owner Curtis Bashaw is running to become the New Jersey GOP's Senate nominee, and he told Fox News that voters are ready for a change.

"Because of Senator Menendez’s never-ending corruption scandal, enabled by New Jersey Democrats, Republicans have the best chance in 50 years to take back this US Senate seat," Bashaw said.

Bashaw is running against Mendham Borough Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner, and she put out a similar statement, saying, "I welcome ‘Gold Bar Bob’s’ announcement about the Senate race in New Jersey."

"As I’ve said from the beginning, Menendez should have to face the voters and the people of New Jersey should have the opportunity to repudiate him — and the corruption and cronyism of the Democratic Party as a whole – at the ballot box," Serrano Glassner declared.

The mayor went on to describe herself as being the only "America-first" candidate and insisted that she is "the best person to take advantage of this opportunity."

John Fetterman says Menendez is a "sleazeball" who has "gotta go"

While most Democrats have been far less vocal about Menendez's alleged crimes than they have been about those of former New York Republican Rep. George Santos, Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman has been a notable exception.

During an interview this past fall with CNN host Manu Raju, Fetterman slammed Menendez as a "a sleazeball" who has "gotta go."

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