Tags: Trump Administration | robert menendez | chris christie | new jersey | senate | 2018

GOP Has Puzzling Dearth of Opponents Vs. Sen. Menendez

GOP Has Puzzling Dearth of Opponents Vs. Sen. Menendez
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. (Julio Cortez/AP)

By    |   Monday, 25 December 2017 10:22 PM

Despite poor polling and a recent corruption trial that ended in a hung jury, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., has few 2018 challengers because of the unpopularity of President Donald Trump and the GOP, Politico reported.

Richard Pezzullo, the runner-up in the New Jersey Republican 2014 Senate primary, is the sole candidate currently for the GOP nomination next year, the outlet reported.

He told Politico he, too, is puzzled by the lack of candidates.

"I have been actively looking for that information; I've been circulating that same question," Pezzullo said.

"Whenever we're talking about what's going on in the New Jersey Republican Party, we have to go back to [Gov. Chris] Christie, and the fact that no farm team has been developed," Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray told Politico.

"There's no infrastructure to build a strong statewide presence. And Donald Trump is just the icing on the cake for making it difficult for Republicans to seriously this prospect."

Outgoing Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, one of the few Republicans who publicly opposed Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., on several issues, has not ruled out a run.

"Do I believe I could beat Bob Menendez if he's the candidate? Yes, I do," he told Politico. "But at the same time, the notion of being away from my family five days a week isn't all that appealing to me."

"This is not an era, it seems, for [a] moderate Republican," he added. "We really need a custom-tailored Republican brand that helps us succeed here in New Jersey as a party."

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Despite alleged corruption ending in a mistrial and poor polling, the Republican Party has a surprising dearth of opponents to challenge maligned Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez in 2018.
robert menendez, chris christie, new jersey, senate, 2018
Monday, 25 December 2017 10:22 PM
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