Politics

Menendez Wins Primary, But Democrats Are Not Pleased With Him

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

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New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez won the Democratic primary Tuesday, but not without a strong turnout for his virtually unknown single opponent who didn’t even raise the $5,000 required to report election donations.

Lisa McCormick, owner of a business-to-business communications firm, gained over 35 percent of the vote in the Democratic New Jersey primary, according to Politico’s election tracker.

It will be a tough race in the fall between Menendez and Republican challenger Bob Hugin, who won his own primary Tuesday, to see who fills New Jersey’s vulnerable seat. Hugin was four points ahead of Menendez in a Dickinson University poll May 26, a dramatic change from an April Monmouth University poll that showed Menendez 21 points ahead. (RELATED: Bob Menendez Is Severely Under Water In NJ Senate Race)

The little campaigning McCormick did was focused on term limits and anti-corruption, a theme Menendez would rather avoid. A bribery and corruption case against Menendez ended in a mistrial in September, allowing the two-term senator to avoid prison and stay in the Senate. Despite that, the Democratic party backed Menendez from the get-go, which irked McCormick and, apparently, many other New Jersey Democrats.

“I wasn’t indicted, I’m not a senator for 25 years,” McCormick said, according to NJ.com. “You’re involved in politics for a long period of time, you’re likely to get corrupted.”

She also pointed out that Republicans have a chance at widening their majority in the Senate in November. “We really can’t afford to lose a Democratic seat in Congress,” she said. “We have to put up better candidates in order not to do that.”

McCormick took credit for the better-than-expected turnout in a statement on Twitter Tuesday. “We made a strong showing for someone who was widely disrespected & ignored by the poltical [sic] establishment and main stream media,” McCormick said.

Hugin, a former pharmaceutical executive, beat his Republican opponent with 75 percent of the vote.

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