Sen. Menendez to face challenger in June primary

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

Sen. Bob Menendez’s re-election may not be as secure as some may think after another Democrat announced that he would be running against the senator in the June primary.

Jersey City activist and public defender Michael Starr Hopkins announced that he would like to be New Jersey’s newest representative in the United States Senate.

Hopkins says that it is time for a new candidate to enter the Senate after Menendez’s corruption trial.

“Through a lot of my writing and a lot of my TV appearances, I’ve been calling for young people to step up and I thought now is the time,” he says.

Hopkins says that Menendez has lost the public’s trust and could damage the party after going through a corruption and bribery trial.

“We have to make a clear distinction between right and wrong as we go and take on the Republicans in the fall,” he says.

Federal prosecutors declined to try Menendez for a second time for allegedly exchanging political favors for luxury vacations and campaign contributions from Florida Dr. Salomon Melgen. The Department of Justice had previously moved for a retrial after a hung jury failed to decide the senator's case.

“The senator was not guilty and I look back ton this jury in which all but two of 16 people in the panel thought he was not guilty and say, ‘I don’t think he would have been convicted,’” says defense attorney Ray Brown.

Menendez and Melgen have always denied the charges.

The Democratic primary election will be held June. 5.

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