Election Spotlight: Tammy Murphy and Andy Kim Face Off in New Jersey Senate Race 

The Race for the New Jersey Senate Seat is heating up. Three months out, the leading Democrats candidates are establishment-backed New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, opposing her is Rep. Andy Kim. Ocean County nominations is today.

By FrumNews.com 

The Race for the New Jersey Senate Seat is heating up.

The two Democratic frontrunners are vying for the seat of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who was indicted by the Justice Department on alleged Bribery charges in 2023, Menendez denied the charges and announced he won’t seek reelection but has not stopped down, leaving an open seat for his seat alongside Senator Cory Booker

The Democratic Primary is getting the most attention because New Jersey is a Democratic stronghold. According to the Cook Political Report, the state leans ‘likely’ Democratic. And ‘Solid’, according to Inside Elections. The state has not sent a Republican to the Senate since 1982.

Three months out from the primary, the leading candidates are establishment-backed New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, the wife of Governor Phil Murphy. Opposing her is Rep. Andy Kim

The race is testing the traditional New Jersey establishment that favors Murphy. Kim is leading Murphy in a recent Monmouth poll by 12%, while Murphy is leading in name recognition. Murphy is also leading incampaign funds.

Both candidates are running on similar Israel-related issues such as the return of the immediate return Hostages, Support for Eretz Yisroel and increased humanitarian aid. 

In the February 2024 Kim-Murphy debate, Murphy said she supported Medicare for All and student loan debt relief. Kim stated his support for gun control, addressing climate change, and affordability in the state.

Tammy Murphy visited Lakewood in January with supporters, Lakewood activists and askunim. She spoke of her warm feelings for the Frum community, her Jewish father, and her plans and goals for the country’s legislative needs. 

State of the Race

Kim is leading with Democratic nominations from the party’s county conventions in Monmouth, Burlington, Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren. Meanwhile, Murphy won county conventions from Passaic, Somerset, Bergen, and Union (all of which have large Frum communities).

The election for county nominations in Ocean County NJ (which includes the large Frum populations of Lakewood, Toms River and Jackson) is set to vote on who to endorse in the Primary tonight. Kim, who represents the nearby NJ-3 district, (and formerly represented Toms River) is favored to win the nomination. Other counties will issue their Senate nominations in the coming weeks.

Polling has been better for Kim, but Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth Polling Institute warned that “Kim has more of a public record than Murphy and it shows in this early read of voter sentiment, but what this poll really tells us is that the senate race is still an insider’s game at this point. The contenders are currently focused on appealing to a small group of party leaders and committee members as they try to shore up county lines. So, it’s not surprising that the vast majority of actual voters know almost nothing about the field. It will be interesting to see what happens to these opinion gaps after the official filing deadline later this month”

The primaries will take place on June 4th.

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