To the surprise of no one, New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy is taking additional steps toward becoming Sen. Murphy.
This week, Murphy will file with the Federal Election Commission, enabling her to raise funds to better gauge support she would have as a candidate.
Of course, Murphy has been doing that for some time — with talks to party leaders and potential donors picking up since current U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) was indicted Sept. 22.
Menendez, who has brushed aside calls for him to resign, has not announced whether he will seek reelection — although recent polling shows few in the state wish for him to do so.
Should Murphy go forward with the process, she likely will face a group of challengers, including U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3rd Dist.). Kim, who announced his intention to seek the Senate seat shortly after Menendez was indicted, already has raised more than $1 million.
Murphy, 58, has long been viewed as a strong partner to her husband, serving as a key adviser on almost every issue. Additionally, she has led efforts for the state to improve its abysmal record on women’s health and maternal and infant care — particularly for people of color.
Murphy notable impressed foreign leaders during the recent East Asia Economic Mission trip.
Murphy is not expected to formally announce any intentions in the next two weeks, someone familiar with the situation told ROI-NJ.
Many other notable potential candidates have been linked to the seat, including Reps. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) and Donald Norcross (D-1st Dist.), and former Rep. Tom Malinowski.
Other notable representatives, including Mikie Sherrill (D-11th Dist.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-5th Dist.), would have been formidable candidates, but both are expected to announce their intent to succeed Phil Murphy as governor.
Should Menendez resign before the end of his term, Gov. Murphy would appoint his replacement.
The New Jersey Globe has been the first report most of the updates regarding the first lady’s potential interest in a Senate seat.