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Tammy Murphy’s campaign manager departs role amid NJ Senate race

The campaign manager for New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy’s Senate bid has left his role, her campaign confirmed to The Hill.

Murphy campaign spokesperson Alex Altman confirmed that Max Glass has departed the campaign but did not explain why or who would replace him. The New York Times first reported the development.

“We are extremely grateful for the value and the passion that Max brought to our team and his efforts to stand up this campaign,” Altman said in a statement. “We have momentum and a clear path to winning the primary on June 4 and making Tammy Murphy the Democratic nominee to the U.S. Senate in this November’s election.”

Murphy, the wife of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, (D) who has served in office since 2018, entered the race for Senate in New Jersey following the indictment against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on charges including conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.

Menendez has denied all wrongdoing and rejected calls to step down, including from members of his own party. He has also indicated that he intends to run for reelection in 2024 as his term is coming to an end, though he has not formally launched a bid.

Murphy entered the race in November as a potential front-runner for the Democratic nomination with close ties to top party officials. She also quickly racked up endorsements from numerous Democratic officials in the state, including most of its Democratic House delegation.

But Murphy is facing hurdles from a strong primary opponent and some controversy surrounding her campaign.

Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) jumped in the race quickly after Menendez was indicted, and he has led Murphy in early polling of the race. He led in a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll from last month by 12 points, though almost a third of respondents said they were undecided.

Murphy has also faced some accusations of nepotism given her connection to the governor, one of the most influential Democrats in the state. She has received endorsements from the chairs of several county parties, which could be key to victory in New Jersey.

The state’s primary ballot is set up on a “county lines” system. County parties can choose where to place candidates running in a primary, and the most advantageous position to be generally is in the same column as other major candidates running in other races — for example, in the same column as President Biden when he runs in the Democratic primary at the same time this year.

The endorsements Murphy received from the county parties may make her more likely to receive that spot in those counties. Critics have argued her already-close ties to party leaders are giving her an unfair advantage based on the state’s electoral system.

But Kim was able to score an upset earlier this month with a decisive win in the Monmouth County Democratic convention, winning him the official county party endorsement.

The county conventions in Burlington and Hunterdon counties are reportedly scheduled for this weekend.

The primary also includes Patricia Campos-Medina, a progressive Democrat who leads The Worker Institute at Cornell University, and Lawrence Hamm, a progressive activist and former Senate candidate.

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