A long-time Republican ally and close friend of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is gearing up to challenge incumbent U.S. Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez in the November election, according to the Bergen County Record
The Record reported Thursday that state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos plans to officially announce his campaign at a later date, but is the “first major Republican candidate to declare” his intention to take on Menendez. Menendez is hoping to win re-election to a second term.
According to the Record, Kyrillos said in a news release that “Washington is failing us” and that Menendez “is seeking re-election to deliver more of the same.”
In the release, Kyrillos played up his association with Christie and other fiscal conservatives, saying, “We took a state that had been mismanaged to the brink of bankruptcy and we turned it around. I intend to do the same in Washington.”
The Record noted that political experts view Kyrillos’ bid as an uphill battle in a state that hasn’t elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate in nearly 40 years.
But Larry Weitzner, Kyrillos’ campaign consultant, told the Record that he was optimistic about his client’s chances.
Like Former Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, who lost his re-election bid to Republican Chris Christie, Weitzner said Menendez is “vulnerable” on a number of issues.
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