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Bob Menendez is launching an independent bid for re-election to a New Jersey Senate seat

Indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) turned in his campaign documents to state election officials Monday as he prepares to defend his New Jersey Senate seat as an independent.

“Today, I submitted well over the signature threshold needed to run for re-election,” the New Jersey Democrat wrote in a Facebook post, officially announcing his third-party candidacy while on trial on charges of federal corruption.

“The people of this great state deserve a leader in Washington with a proven track record of fighting tooth and nail to get results, and I intend to continue to do so as an independent Democrat,” he added.

Menendez is currently on trial on charges that he accepted bribes as a US senator. A?

The “Menendez for Senate” campaign submitted 2,465 signatures to the New Jersey Division of Elections, well over the 800 signatures needed on the ballot access petition.

“It makes me sad that I have to go down this road, thanks to overzealous prosecutors, but I will do what needs to be done to continue to uphold my oath of office to my constituents,” Menendez said.

The six-term senator also expressed confidence that he will be found not guilty at trial.

“Despite what is portrayed in the media, my innocence continues to be exposed in court,” he wrote. “Like I said before; I have committed no crime. I am more confident than ever that the people of New Jersey and the rest of the American public will see me exonerated of what I am accused of and I will be re-elected to the Senate once again.”

Menendez, 70, opted against running in the June 4 Democratic primary, which is expected to be won by progressive Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ).

Polls have shown that if Menendez is able to qualify, his endorsement would close Kim’s margin over the Republican nominee in a three-way race.

Mendham Borough Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner and developer Curtis Bashaw are among the GOP candidates vying for the nomination in Tuesday’s primary.

Menendez said he will run for re-election as an “independent Democrat.” Menendez for NJ
Menendez is accused of accepting bribes of more than $600,000 in cash and gold bullion in exchange for favors for three wealthy New Jersey businessmen. A?

Menendez is currently on trial in federal court in Manhattan for allegedly accepting bribes of more than $600,000 in cash and gold bullion in exchange for favors from three wealthy New Jersey businessmen.

He was also accused of acting as a foreign agent while holding a senior position on the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he has since resigned in favor of the governments of Egypt and Qatar.

Menendez pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintained his innocence, and his lawyers tried to argue that wife and co-defendant Nadine inherited the gold bars from her Lebanese family and hid them at the couple’s home without his knowledge .

“I look forward to putting these charges behind me and getting back to work for my constituents,” Menendez said Monday.