“Gold Bars Bobby” Menendez will file as an independent in an attempt to retain his Senate seat

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) will run for a fourth term in the United States Senate as an independent as he faces federal corruption charges, the New Jersey Globe reports.

The longtime Garden State Democratic powerhouse will file today after collecting enough signatures to qualify for an independent run. The Globe confirmed that Menendez has no campaign staff and is managing his own race, a serious development for the fallen pole.

The senator declined to run for re-election as a Democrat in March and has since debated an independent run. A petition has reportedly started circulating to appear on the ballot as an independent in May.

Menendez and his wife, Nadine, were each indicted in September 2023 on three federal counts of allegedly accepting bribes from three New Jersey businessmen, violently shaking New Jersey’s political dynamics.

The couple allegedly used the senator’s power and influence to “protect and enrich” businessmen and “benefit the Arab Republic of Egypt,” according to the indictment in New York Times.

Menendez was hit with additional charges in January and is accused of accepting bribes from the Qatari royal family in exchange for speaking highly of Qatar. In exchange for his positive comments about Qatar, Menendez allegedly received valuables such as luxury wristwatches.

Authorities who searched the couple’s New Jersey home found $600,000 in cash and gold bars hidden in closets, designer bags and even a pair of boots, among other hiding places.

Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Menendez, though Menendez could serve as a spoiler by running as an independent in November. Four Republican candidates will appear on the ballot in the May 4 primary.

Menendez is in Lower Manhattan today for the twelfth day of his federal corruption trial. Looks like a friend will be turning in his signatures to the state division of elections.

Four members of the Senate Democratic Caucus are independents: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-NH), Angus King (I-ME), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), and Joe Manchin (I-WV). Sinema and Manchin are retiring at the end of this Congress, though Manchin switched his affiliation to independent on May 31, fueling speculation about his next move.

Bradley Jaye is the Capitol Hill correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.