BREAKING BIG: Senator Menendez
CNN is calling it:
New Jersey Gov.-elect Jon Corzine will name Rep. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, as his successor in the U.S. Senate, multiple New Jersey Democratic sources told CNN Wednesday.Mendez denies it:
Menendez will serve the remaining year of Corzine's Senate term in 2006 while launching his own campaign for a full six-year term, the sources said.
Menendez was chosen over a handful of other Democrats being considered for the appointment, including Rep. Robert Andrews and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., the sources said.
"I think it is a good move," said one Democratic source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "He has the statewide infrastructure in place. He has got the money, the fire in the belly -- and he will win."
A Corzine spokeswoman, Ivette Mendez, described any discussion of the appointment as "speculative" and noted that "your sources do not speak for Jon Corzine."
A Menendez spokesman refused comment.