A Senate Candidate Accused of Nepotism Has Another Edge: The Ballot

December 22, 2023

Tammy Murphy, the wife of New Jersey’s Democratic governor, announced she was running to unseat the state’s embattled senior senator, Robert Menendez, early on a Wednesday.

Within hours, she had notched endorsements from Democratic leaders in two counties, followed by a third the next day. That Friday, four more county leaders joined the chorus of praise.

In 72 hours, without ever hitting the campaign trail, Ms. Murphy, a first-time candidate with limited experience, had lined up backing from Democratic leaders in one-third of the state’s counties, representing 56 percent of New Jersey’s registered Democratic voters…

No New Jersey legislative incumbent chosen to run on the county line in all of the counties he or she represented has lost a primary election since 2009, according to a recent study by a Rutgers University professor, Julia Sass Rubin. By comparison, in the other 49 states, 1,145 legislative incumbents lost primary elections during that same time period. Candidates for Congress had an advantage of 38 percentage points, the study found.

New York TImes December 22, 2023

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