A former TV news reporter known for his aggressive on-camera demeanor is getting into New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race as a Republican candidate for the seat currently held by Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, who’s facing federal corruption charges.
Alex Zdan, 38, a former news reporter for News 12 New Jersey, announced his candidacy Friday in an online video showing him at the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona, where he called for an end to illegal border crossings in what has emerged as a major campaign theme for Republican candidates nationwide. The video depicts gaps in the border fence.
Zdan joins a GOP field that is quickly filling with candidates, including Mendham Borough Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner and southern New Jersey businessman Curtis Bashaw on the GOP side. New Jersey has not elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate since 1972, but Republicans are hoping the turmoil surrounding Menendez gives them a pickup opportunity in the narrowly divided chamber.
The Democratic primary remains unsettled, with Menendez not yet saying if he’ll seek reelection even as he has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he took bribes in exchange for helping foreign countries. He’s vowed to fight the charges, though many of his fellow Democrats have abandoned him and some have said he should resign.