New Jersey federal Senator Bob Menéndez today launched his candidacy for a third term, less than two months after the Department of Justice desisted from bringing him to trial for a second time on corruption charges.
Menéndez, of Cuban origin, went to a high school in Union City, where he grew up and was mayor, to announce that he is seeking re-election, leaving behind the scandal in which he has been involved since 2015, when he was presented with the charges that led him to trial last year.
The politician promised today with his followers to continue fighting the policies of the administration of President Donald Trump in health care, immigration and climate change.
“There is a president in Washington who spends his days dividing and distracting us, but never producing for us,” the 64-year-old politician told the young people, notes the NJ.com newspaper.
He added that under the Trump presidency “health care is becoming more expensive, environmental protections are being destroyed and women’s rights are under attack.”
The senator was accompanied by senior leaders of the Democratic Party, including his colleague in the federal Upper House and former mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, who supported him during the trial and today referred to him as “a survivor” without mentioning the legal problem he faced, NJ.com also indicates.
In 2015 Menéndez was accused of having accepted prebends, including travel, from one of his donors, the ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, in exchange for supporting his business interests in Florida.
According to that accusation, the senator helped his friend in a dispute with health officials about payments related to health services, as well as urging the authorities of the Dominican Republic to accept a contract with a port security company owned by the doctor. .
The trial was annulled because the jury did not reach a unanimous verdict. The prosecution had announced in January that it would prosecute Menéndez for the second time, but soon after it withdrew that intention, which cleared the way for the politician to focus on his campaign for the November elections.
However, he still faces the investigation of the Ethics Committee of the Senate for having accepted contributions for his campaign and trips paid by Melgen, which will pursue him during the electoral contest.
Menendez, who was also an assemblyman and state senator in New Jersey, came to Congress in 1992 where he stayed until 2006, when Jon Corzine appointed him to take his seat in the Upper House after being elected governor of New Jersey.
The legislator will face in this election billionaire Republican Bob Hugin, 63, former CEO of the pharmaceutical Celgene Corp., which launched his candidacy in February and has promised to be an independent voice in the Senate.
The first opinion poll by Quinnipiac University, in Connecticut, about this contest and published in early March, showed that Menéndez had a 17-point lead over Hugin (49-32). efe