State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos will seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate to run against incumbent Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
The 51-year-old Monmouth County legislator says he converted his federal exploratory committee to a campaign account on Thursday and will formally announce his candidacy soon.
Kyrillos is a long-time friend of Gov. Chris Christie.
The 24-year veteran of the New Jersey Legislature would face a better-known and well-financed opponent if he wins the GOP primary.
Menendez, 58, served out Jon Corzine's term in the Senate before being elected to his own full term in 2006.