GOP NJ Sen. Kyrillos to Challenge Menendez for U.S. Senate Seat

The 51-year-old politician is a long-time friend of Gov. Chris Christie.

By Angela Delli Santi
|  Thursday, Jan 19, 2012  |  Updated 11:31 AM EDT
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New Jersey state Sen. Joe Kyrillos plans to run for higher office.

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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.   

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