March 2, 2024

A Republican candidate seeking to replace New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez has scrubbed nearly her entire campaign website after being caught for plagiarism.

Christine Serrano Glassner, a New Jersey mayor with ties to Donald Trump, announced her campaign in September. On her website, her platform covered multiple popular Republican talking points, including federal spending, the southern U.S. border, and Covid-19 policies. The thing is, almost the whole section was lifted word for word from Ohio Senator J.D. Vance’s website.

Serrano Glassner’s website initially listed 13 issues that she said she wanted to focus on. Currently, only three issues remain. The other 10 were copied almost verbatim from Vance’s website. The section headings were exactly the same. Her descriptions of each issue included some changes, either to make them about New Jersey or to swap in a different nonessential word, but the bulk of the text was the same as the text Vance wrote.

When asked by The New Republic if she could explain the similarities, Serrano Glassner blamed a campaign worker. “While we are big fans of J.D. Vance and his America First policies, we would never intentionally replicate content from his or any website. That was the work of a campaign volunteer who posted some Vance issues content onto our website without proper approvals,” Serrano Glassner’s campaign said in a statement.

“We will be updating the content on our website and making sure that doesn’t happen again, but we won’t stop loving J.D. Vance and patriots like him who are working to save America from the corruption of the Democrats like we are doing in New Jersey.”

Immediately after responding to TNR, Serrano Glassner’s team deleted all the copied sections from her website, leaving up just three issues that Vance had not discussed.

The race to replace Menendez kicked off in September after he was indicted for allegedly taking bribes from Egypt. A superseding indictment was then filed against Menendez in January for allegedly taking bribes from Qatar. Menendez has now been indicted a total of three times, but he emerged unscathed the previous times.

Since announcing her candidacy, Serrano Glassner has fully embraced her ties to Trump. Her husband, Michael Glassner, served as chief operating officer and deputy campaign manager for the former president from July 2015 to November 2020. He currently runs one of Trump’s legal defense funds.

So it’s no surprise that the bulk of Serrano Glassner’s campaign website was lifted from Vance. Once a Trump critic, Vance has since changed his stance dramatically. He is now one of Trump’s most outspoken supporters on Capitol Hill, and he is reportedly being considered as a potential Trump running mate for the 2024 election.

But that proximity to Trump, both real and copy-pasted, could backfire for Serrano Glassner. New Jersey hasn’t elected a Republican to the Senate since 1972. And in 2018, Menendez was reelected with an 11-point margin over his Trump-backed Republican opponent. At the time, Menendez had just been tried for corruption. The case ended in mistrial after the jury deadlocked.