Five of the six Hudson County Assembly members, with the exception of Assemblyman John Allen (D-32), are backing U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8) for re-election.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Whether he is introducing legislation to make our residents’ lives more affordable or taking on complex constituent cases, Rob has always fought for every single constituent we together represent,” Assembly members Will Sampson, Barbara Stamato (both D-31), Jessica Ramirez (D-32), Julio Marenco, and Gabriel Rodriguez (D-33) said in a joint statement.
“He has advocated for working families, fought against gun violence, stood up for reproductive choice, and has taken action to address quality of life issues impacting all of our communities.”
In Hudson County, mayors typically have major sway on which Assembly candidates get to run on the line and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, a challenger to Menendez, selected Allen to replace four-term Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro after redistricting.
Allen has previously served as Bhalla’s chief of staff and as assistant corporation counsel in Hoboken, also unsuccessfully running for council-at-large on Bhalla’s ticket in 2017.
Bhalla’s campaign has indicated he has already raised $1 million in his off the line congressional bid and has been critical of the criminal case of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Rob’s father, calling his his resignation after being accused of taking bribes and abusing his office.
The elder Menendez is further accused of acting as a foreign agent to Egypt and attempting to help solicit a real estate deal for developer Fred Daibes and the governor of Qatar.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has filed two motions to dismiss in the case ahead of scheduled May 6th trial, about one month before the June 4th primary.
He also has the support of Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Anthony Vainieri, all three local state senators: Angela McKnight (D-31), Raj Mukherji (D-32), and Brian Stack (D-33), Hudson County Executive Craig Guy, and the Hudson County Board of Commissioners.
While the 8th District is largely a Hudson County seat, it also includes Newark and Elizabeth. Mayor Ras Baraka and the Union County Democratic Organization have also signed on for Menendez’s re-election bid.
Additionally, Congressman Menendez received the endorsements of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local 25, the Hudson County Central Labor Council, and Hudson County Building and Construction Trades Council in the past week.