New Jersey Democrats Aren’t Worried About Menendez in 2018

Despite facing corruption charges, senator has party’s support

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey maintains the support of Democratic leaders in the state as Washington looks ahead to the 2018 elections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey Democratic leaders support Sen. Robert Menendez for re-election in 2018 despite the federal corruption charges he faces, The Record of Bergen County reported.

Menendez was originally indicted in April 2015 on 14 counts related to conspiracy, bribery, fraud, and making false statements. Prosecutors alleged that he sold his office to a top contributor in exchange for luxury travel and political contributions, and also tried to pressure federal officials to boost the business interests of eye doctor and co-defendant Salomon Melgen.

New Jersey has not elected a Republican to the Senate since Sen. Clifford Case won a fourth and final term in 1972, and Democrats looking to be on the ballot with Menendez in 2018 said they are not worried about his future.

“I expect him to be there,” said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey’s 12th District. “He’s still a strong leader, and we still respect him and know he looks out for the state of New Jersey.”

First District Rep. Donald Norcross said Menendez is doing an “excellent” job. 

“The most important thing is, he needs to have a fair and open process for what he's facing,” Norcross said. 

Menendez’s lawyers are gearing up to ask the Supreme Court to throw out large portions of his indictment.

“He feels that now is the time to step up, not step away, and has said publicly to the people of New Jersey and privately to the people who have helped his political campaigns over the past four decades that he intends to run for re-election and do so aggressively,” Menendez consultant Michael Soliman said.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.