Former Christie intern enters the fray for Dem nomination in 8th District congressional race


Brian Varela, a former intern for Gov. Chris Christie (R), is entering the fray to seek the Democratic nomination in the 8th District congressional race.

8th District congressional candidate Brian Varela. Photo courtesy of the Varela campaign.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Brian knows he faces a great challenge, where party leaders have already chosen a candidate to fill the seat,” his campaign said in a statement today.

“That is not how Democracy is supposed to work. The people should be able to choose the candidate they feel best represents them, not one chosen for them.”

Varela worked in Christie’s communications office as an intern in 2010 and has owned the North Bergen-based Varemar Digital Marketing firm since October 2016.

“He is proud to say he has employed hundreds of workers while making sure they made more than a living wage,” his campaign said.

“He has given back to his local community and internationally. He has known since he was a teen that his destiny was to make a difference, to create a better world. He is ready to move into that role.”

The frontrunner to succeed U.S. Rep. Albio Sires, who is retiring after his term expires at the end of this year, is Port Authority Commissioner Rob Menendez, the son of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

Also an attorney at Lowenstein Sandler LLP, the younger Menendez already has the endorsement of virtually all prominent Democrats from Hudson and Union Counties.

While progressive organizer Ricardo Rojas exited the race last month, fellow progressive David Ocampo Grajales is still forging ahead as a candidate.

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