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Rob Menendez Announces Reelection Bid Shortly After His Father’s Indictment

Rep. Rob Menendez (D-N.J.), the son of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), is seeking reelection following his father’s indictment on corruption charges last week.

The elder Menendez was charged Friday over allegedly accepting bribes, including $100,000 in gold bars and $480,000 in cash, in exchange for official acts that aided an Egyptian American businessman and the Egyptian government.

But his son, a freshman member of Congress, appears undeterred by his father’s legal troubles and is seeking another term in office.

“I will be running for reelection based on that record so I can continue to serve the residents of this district that I love, in stark contrast to those who may run to further their own naked political ambition,” Rob Menendez said in a statement released Monday, according to Politico.

Rob Menendez defended his father in a statement shortly after the indictment was made public.

“I strongly believe in his integrity and his values, and look forward to seeing him move past this distraction to continue fighting for our state in the United States Senate,” he said. 

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla (D) is reportedly mulling a challenge to Rob Menendez, according to the New Jersey Globe

Meanwhile, several prominent Democrats, including Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Peter Welch (Vt.) and John Fetterman (Pa.) and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), have called on Bob Menendez to step down.

The New Jersey senator has denied wrongdoing and refused to resign, saying those calling for his ouster “have rushed to judgment.”

“I will be exonerated and continue to be the senior senator from New Jersey,” he told a press conference Monday.

Bob Menendez so far has not officially confirmed whether he will seek another term in office. Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.), though, has already announced he will run for the seat and others could follow suit.

The senator and his wife, Nadine Menendez, who is also facing bribery charges, are expected to be arraigned Wednesday.

If convicted, they could face up to 45 years behind bars, according to Reuters.

This isn’t the first indictment for Menendez. He faced corruption charges in 2015 but the case ended in a hung jury.