✅ Criminal charges have made Democratic incumbent Bob Menendez vulnerable

✅ Former News 12 reporter Alex Zdan is the latest GOP candidate

✅ Menendez has not announced if he will seek re-election


The Republican field for the U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey gained a candidate Friday in an announcement recorded at the Mexican border.

Thirteen candidates have entered a race that could be the best chance in a decade to unseat a Democrat.

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, who has held the seat since 2006, faces charges of bribery and treason, which he has steadfastly denied. He has ignored calls for his resignation but also has not formally announced a re-election campaign.

Latest GOP candidate has name recognition

Former News 12 New Jersey reporter Alex Zdan released a video showing him in front of a section of a border wall built during the Trump administration.

"We're seeing buses loaded with hundreds of illegal migrants pulling up in our New Jersey neighborhoods. Now we know every state is a border state and your safety begins here," Zdan says as he walks next to the wall with stirring music playing.

Layoff leads to politics

The Mercer County native said he was "not a typical politician" and promised to fight corruption, restore businesses "devestated" by pandemic shutdowns and bring back jobs that pay "based on hard you're willing to work."

"As a journalist, my priorities were to always tell the truth and to go where the story was.
I'm a conservative outsider running for the U.S. Senate so I can fight to protect you and your family, slash the size of government, secure our borders, and ensure liberty and prosperity," Zdan said on his Facebook page.

Zdan was laid off in October along with seven other co-workers.

The major party candidates who have announced a run in the primary scheduled for June 4 are:

Democrats

  • Activist Patricia Campos-Medina
  • Activist Lawrence Hamm
  • U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J. 3rd District
  • First lady Tammy Murphy

Republicans

  • Real estate developer Curtis Bashaw
  • Entrepreneur Steve Boston
  • Business owner Michael Estrada
  • Registered respiratory therapist Brian Jackson
  • Veteran Albert Harshaw
  • Attorney Gregg Mele
  • Tabernacle Deputy Mayor Justin Murphy
  • Businessman Fred Schneiderman
  • Journalist Alex Zdan
(L-R) Tammy Murphy, Sen. Bob Menendez, Rep. Andy Kim
(L-R) Tammy Murphy (Tammy Murphy via YouTube), Sen. Bob Menendez (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah), Rep. Andy Kim (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
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