Tommy Murphy has dropped out of the New Jersey Senate primary

Tammy Murphy, wife of Gov. Bill Murphy (TNJ), wrapped up her primary campaign for Senate on Sunday.

The announcement abruptly ended a Senate bid that had begun with high expectations, leaving only Rep. Andy Kim (TNJ) as the only at-large candidate to replace Sen. Bob Menendez (TNJ).

“After several busy, inspiring and, yes, challenging months, I am suspending my Senate campaign today,” Murphy said. announced in a video. “I've been honest and sincere throughout. But it's clear to me that continuing with this contest would create a very divisive and negative campaign, which I don't want to do.”

Murphy has struggled to overcome concerns about his qualifications and ties to the governor's office, despite high-powered endorsements of support from most of the state's congressional delegation and influential county party leaders.

The New Jersey Globe reported Murphy concluded Saturday that the campaign would require significant self-funding, citing the short path to victory.

Kim has gained momentum over the past few months, upsetting Murphy in small county votes. The race was viewed as a toss-up by state politicians last week, citing Kim's voter enthusiasm and Murphy's approval rating.

Murphy's ouster now calls into question his district endorsement lines. Each county party that supported Murphy will decide whether to give Kim its hometown endorsement ballot.

Kim has sued the state over approval ballot lines, saying the unique practice is anti-democratic and allows party leadership to unfairly favor some candidates over others. The government said last week that it would not contest the case.

Murphy had polled approval lines in some of the state's most populous counties, putting Kim in the lead, though if Kim's case is successful, the advantage will disappear.

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Murphy did not mention or endorse Kim in his announcement, but he encouraged party unity.

“With Donald Trump on the ballot and so much at stake for our nation, I will not in good conscience waste resources tearing down a fellow Democrat instead of talking about process and politics,” he said. “New Jersey's next senator needs to focus on the issues of our time, not tear others down while dividing our party and the people of the state.”

He said his focus will now shift to helping the Biden campaign.

“We face serious, dangerous threats nationally thanks to Donald Trump and far-right extremists, and this is a time to unite, not divide,” Murphy said. “I will now turn my full attention to re-electing President Biden and ensuring Democratic victories on the ballot across New Jersey.”

Menendez did not run in the primary because he is dealing with criminal corruption charges, but said last week that he may run as an independent candidate in the general election.

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