Menendez Gets First Primary Challenger As He Faces Corruption Case Retrial

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A Democratic political pundit and attorney is challenging New Jersey’s U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez for their party’s nomination.

Michael Starr Hopkins has filed paperwork to run in the June primary against the two-term incumbent, who’s facing a retrial on federal corruption charges after his first trial ended in a hung jury last fall.

Hopkins says it’s important politicians reflect their constituents’ values. The Jersey City resident outlined his reasons for seeking the seat in an op-ed piece discussing issues such as health care, education and taxes.

Hopkins has been a public defender in New York and a political commentator on Fox News and other major networks. He’s a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and The Hill and worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last year in Colorado.

Menendez has denied allegations of bribery, fraud and conspiracy.

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