TRENTON, N.J., June 13 (UPI) -- New Jersey state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos announced Monday he is moving toward challenging U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., next year.
Kyrillos, a friend and adviser to Republican Gov. Chris Christie, said: "I have formed an exploratory committee to seek out ways to help our great country which may include running for the United States Senate. As the son and grandson of immigrants who moved to this country in search of freedom and opportunity, I know and believe in the power of the American dream."
Other Republicans considering a run against Menendez include biotech executive John Crowley and state Sens. Michael Doherty and Tom Kean Jr., The (Newark) Star-Ledger reports. Menendez defeated Kean, son of the former governor, in 2006. Lawyer Ian Linker is a declared candidate.
Kyrillos is a longtime state legislator and former state party chairman.
He has raised $412,000 for his state re-election campaign, more than any other Republican, although he has a safe district.