Former state Assembly Speaker and Bayonne Mayor Joe Doria has endorsed U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) for re-election in the aftermath of another former Bayonne Mayor, Richard Rutkowski, endorsing GOP challenger Bob Hugin.
“Only one man running for the United States Senate has delivered for Bayonne – that is Bob Menendez. I have known Bob Menendez for almost 35 years,” Doria began in a statement.
“During his years representing us in the House and Senate, Bob Menendez is responsible for getting the light rail extended to Bayonne; securing millions for our local police and firefighters; and getting the approvals and federal resources needed to deepen the shipping channels, expand operations at our ports, and establish a new commuter ferry–all which have collectively led to record local business and job growth.”
Doria continued that when he was mayor of the Peninsula City, between 1998 and 2007, Menendez “stood with us and fought the Port Authority” to ensure that Bayonne would not lose ownership of the Military Ocean Terminal – prime waterfront real estate that hasn’t been developed until recently.
This morning, Hugin announced that Rutkowski, a Democrat and the Bayonne mayor from 1990 until 1994, was backing his candidacy.
Leonard Kiczek served as mayor from 1994 until 1998, the term between when Rutkowski and Doria took office.
Additionally, Doria served one term as New Jersey Assembly Speaker between 1990 and 1992.
The race between Menendez and Hugin has been uncharacteristically competitive at this point, less than a month before Election Day, and with both candidates having roots in Union City, it’s unsurprising that neither wants to give an inch in their home county.