WASHINGTON (AP) — New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy has suspended her U.S. Senate campaign to replace Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez as he faces federal corruption charges.

Murphy announced her decision in a video posted to her social media on Sunday.

“New Jersey’s next senator must focus on the issues of our time and not be mired in tearing others down while dividing the people of our party and state,” she said.

Her decision to drop out likely clears the way for U.S. Rep. Andy Kim in the Democratic primary on June 4.

Menendez announced that he would not run in that primary but did not rule out seeking reelection as an independent as he faces federal corruption charges,

Murphy, a first-time candidate, was running with the backing of influential Democratic figures. Kim, a three-term congressman, has centered his campaign in part on upending the state’s unique ballot design, widely viewed as favoring candidates preferred by county party insiders.

The stakes are high, with Democrats competing to hold on to their narrow control of the Senate.

Republicans have their own primary unfolding, featuring businessman Curtis Bashaw, Mendham Borough Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner and former TV news reporter Alex Zdan.

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