U.S. Senator Bob Menendez will kick off his re-election campaign on Wednesday with rallies in his hometown of Union City and in South Jersey. U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and Gov. Phil Murphy are scheduled to speak at the Union City announcement. Both events are expected to draw an abundance of political elite – that’ how Menendez organized similar events in 2006 and 2012.
Menendez will start at Union City High School at 10 AM, while a second one at the University Center Atrium at Rowan College in Sewell starts at 2 PM. Senate President Steve Sweeney will speak at the South Jersey event.
A recent Quinnipiac poll has Menendez leading Republican Bob Hugin by seventeen points, 49%-32%. Hugin, the retired head of one of the state’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturers, is expected to self-finance his campaign and has reportedly promised party leaders to spend more than $20 million to unseat Menendez.
The government dismissed corruption charges against Menendez after a trial ended with a hung jury. The senator has an upside-down favorable rating, 35%-37%, but his job approval is at 46%-39%, according to the same poll.
Menendez was appointed to the Senate in 2005 and was elected in 2006 and 2012. He is now the ranking minority member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. If would become chairman of the panel if Democrats win back control of the Senate.