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Rep. Kim Now Prepares to Take on Indicted Senator Bob Menendez and Trump-Supporting Republican Curtis Bashaw in November.

View more Congressman Andy Kim

MOORESTOWN N.J. – On Tuesday, Congressman Andy Kim officially secured the Democratic nomination for United States Senate with roughly 75% of the vote, bringing one of New Jersey’s most competitive primary election cycles in recent memory to a close. Over the last 48 hours, this race has dominated the news cycle, and Rep. Kim has spoken to various news outlets about his history-making campaign and the grassroots movement that caught fire in New Jersey, his views on Menendez’ independent bid, and why he is confident he will successfully beat his Trump-supporting millionaire Republican opponent, Curtis Bashaw. 

Highlights from the last 48 hours include:

MSNBC: The Last Word: View the clip by clicking here

On the top issues Rep. Kim is thinking about going into November

The top thing on people’s minds is about, you know, their own challenges, whether that’s high cost of living and the difficulties of housing, health care, hunger, other issues that are out there. But the other thing that we’re really trying to hit home is that why is it that we don’t have a government, a Congress that’s able to be able to deliver and fix that? And that’s where we see so many of the broken problems that are out there…So people are connecting those dots that the government is not functioning in the way that it needs to to address their problems. So that’s what we’re talking about here in New Jersey.”

On his Republican opponent attempting to be viewed as a ‘moderate’, and state of the race

“Well, look, you know, he is someone that has stepped up and endorsed Trump though…so it’s kind of like Ted Cruz, someone who accepts all of this abuse from Donald Trump, but then still votes for him. It’s really just something that honestly, it really shows a lack of character.” 

What is at stake with the Democratic Majority in the Senate

“[A Democratic majority] is what’s standing between us and preventing the Republicans from pushing a national abortion ban about pushing their extremism.”

“I voted to impeach Donald Trump twice. We don’t want him back into the White House. But we also need to make sure that we are controlling Senate and making sure we have the ability to be able to vote on and control who’s going into the Supreme Court at a time when people are very worried about what comes next when it comes to women’s reproductive rights, when it comes to LGBTQ rights, immigration, amongst so many other issues.”

CNN: The Lead with Jake Tapper: View the clip by clicking here

On his Primary victory and his views on Senator Menendez:  

“I think the people of New Jersey are fed up with Senator Menendez, just tired of this politics that is, frankly, just embarrassing to our state and to our country, and we deserve better representation. So, you know, I’m really proud that I was able to get past the primary election, last night. And I will win in November, even if it means that I have to take on both Senator Menendez as well as a Republican.”

“You know, Senator Menendez is in court right now because of allegations that he was putting his own personal benefit ahead of what’s right for the country. And now we’re seeing it again. You know, the Senate majority is so important. It’s what’s standing in the way of having Republicans pushing for a national abortion ban or doing so many other damaging things to our country, including Supreme Court nominations. So that’s something that, you know, [Senator Menendez] is playing with fire in that way.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: Andy Kim wins Democratic Senate primary

On the transformation of New Jersey politics this cycle

The underdog early on, Kim galvanized support among progressive groups, grassroots voters, and eventually, establishment Democrats who had initially backed Murphy. His successful lawsuit to abolish the state’s county-line ballot system for this Democratic primary represents one of the biggest shake-ups in New Jersey’s political history, and related litigation could end the system for future elections.

“People thought [the county line] was just part of New Jersey,” Kim said at his polling place on Tuesday, where he voted with his wife and kids. “But to actually have a ballot — probably the first time in a century that we haven’t had a county line system on our ballot — I think it is a start of a new era of great democracy in New Jersey.”

Star-Ledger: Andy Kim, on his big win, his GOP opponent, and pressing reform | Moran

On Curtis Bashaw endorsing Trump

“It takes away any ability for Bashaw to come after Democrats over the problem with (Sen. Robert) Menendez,” Kim says. “He himself came out and endorsed a convicted felon. So, I’m running against an indicted senator (Menendez has filed papers for an independent run) and a strong supporter of a convicted felon. Voters don’t want that kind of broken politics. And both my opponents have that stain on them now.”

On the abolished line and his plans for the future

“I want to use this year as a breaking point, to say that the Democratic Party of Menendez in New Jersey is over, and we’re entering a new era of reform. You’re going to have more candidates stepping up. Voters will have more say….If the legislature doesn’t do the right thing, we’ll still have the legal avenue to press for change,” he says. “We do need to make sure we lock in the change.”

NJ Globe: Andy Kim is ready for Bashaw because he’s beaten similar candidates three times

His thoughts on running against Curtis Bashaw and Senator Menendez

“I have a particular expertise in beating Republican multi-millionaire, self-funding businesspeople from South Jersey.  That’s literally all I’ve done in politics when it comes to elections…I’ve only run against Republican multi- millionaire self-funders from South Jersey, and I beat them every single time.”

Kim also dismissed the idea that Bashaw could credibly run as a moderate Republican in the general election after winning the GOP primary by seven points…“The only thing I’ve seen him do is endorse a convicted felon for president, so I don’t really see how I can call him a moderate,” he stated.

“I’m not really sure how much [Senator Menendez] is potentially able to pull.  I’m also under the assumption he’s really not going to spend money towards it.  I’m assuming a lot of this all is an effort to make sure he can keep his coffers open for paying his legal bills. That’s disappointing,” Kim said. “If that’s true, which I suspect it is, it would again be another example of him putting his own personal benefit ahead of what’s right for our country.”

New York Times: Andy Kim Wins Democratic Senate Primary; Rob Menendez Survives Challenge

“I’m humbled by the results,” Mr. Kim said at Terhune Orchards in Princeton, where his supporters had gathered to celebrate. “This has been a very challenging and difficult race, a very dramatic one at that, and one that frankly has changed New Jersey politics forever.”

[Senator Menendez’] reasons for running may have little to do with re-election. By remaining in the race, Mr. Menendez can continue to collect campaign contributions to supplement the $3.5 million he had on hand as of last month. He has already spent more than $3 million on his current team of lawyers, and the trial is expected to last for at least another four weeks. The senator is also using his campaign account to pay lawyers representing his wife, Nadine Menendez, who is also charged in the bribery conspiracy and is expected to stand trial this summer.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Andy Kim’s underdog Senate campaign broke barriers and actually excited voters

On History-making candidacy

A son of South Korean immigrants, Kim would be only the 10th Asian American ever elected to the Senate and the first to represent the East Coast. That has enormous significance for the [AAPI] community,” Democratic political consultant Trip Yang said. But part of Kim’s impact, Yang added, was disproving a false stereotype that Asian American politicians can only represent other Asian Americans. The New Jersey congressional district that Kim flipped in 2018 is 90% white, and Trump won it in 2016.

“D.C. just feels like it’s performative governance right now,” Kim said.“People are just trying to get viral videos, yelling and screaming. That’s another thing I learned on this campaign. People just want somebody that wants to actually do the work.

The Associated Press: Kim, Bashaw win New Jersey primaries for Senate seat held by embattled Menendez

“Leadership is not about the volume of one’s voice. It’s about the actions that they take,” Kim said in a phone interview. “People are hungry for a new generation of leadership to step up. They are hungry for a change in our broken politics.”

NPR: Andy Kim upended New Jersey politics. Now he’s on track to become a senator

In a matter of weeks, Kim went from a long-shot candidate taking on the state’s vaunted political machine, to the presumptive nominee heavily favored to win the Senate seat in November. Menendez plans to run as an independent, and while that could dilute Kim’s support, New Jersey hasn’t sent a Republican to the Senate in more than 50 years.

Even party elders who initially endorsed Murphy in the race have found respect for Kim’s campaign. “This is the segue. This is how we get to the next generation,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J.

Politico: Democrat Andy Kim wins NJ Senate primary, but Bob Menendez still poses a threat

“Having a sitting senator in the race certainly changes the dynamic,” Kim said. “What is that going to do to the race to have a senator who couldn’t even drop off his ballot petitions yesterday in person because he’s in court? What is that going to do in effecting the mood of the electorate?”

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