Newark Mayor Ras Baraka backs Rep. Rob Menendez for a second term


Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is backing U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8) for a second term, citing the millions of dollars in funding he helped secure in the Brick City.

U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8), back when he was a candidate, with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on May 19th, 2022. Photo courtesy of the Menendez for Congress campaign.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Rob and I share a vision for our urban cities that fosters greater inclusivity, affordability, and accessibility, and since taking office he has been a great partner to my administration and left no doubt about his dedication to Newark,” Baraka said in a statement.

“In just the last few weeks, Rob has secured $300 million for the Dock Bridge Rehabilitation Project, $60 million to make Newark Penn Station more accessible for residents, and nearly $2 million to support Newark’s public safety and community policing efforts. He also helped us secure funding for environmental justice initiatives, supported our small businesses in the Ironbound, visited and supported the Newark LGBTQ Community Center, and is working with my administration to help improve NJ TRANSIT bus service in Newark.”

Baraka also endorsed Menendez for his first term in 2022 and referred to him as “a friend and champion for Newark.”

The 8th Congressional District is mostly comprised of Hudson County, but also includes Newark and Elizabeth. The Hudson County Democratic Organization backed Menendez last week, with 10 of the 12 local mayors quickly following suit.

The only exceptions are Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who is expected to run against Menendez, and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who has had a largely frosty relationship with U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rob’s father, ever since he ran against him for Congress in 2004.

In a lengthy social media post and email blast, Fulop said that in light of Senator Menendez’s federal corruption charges, which includes acting as a foreign agent to Egypt, the Democratic party should move on from Rob Menendez.

“It’s not a secret that Rob got to Congress only because of his dad’s influence, so it’s fair to move on from Rob now because of that same influence,” he wrote before a short but intense social media spat between him and Rob Menendez began.

For the time being, Kyle Jasey, the son of outgoing Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-27), is the only declared challenger to Rob Menendez in the 8th District.

Fulop is currently the only declared candidate for governor ahead of the June 3rd, 2025 primary, with Baraka amongst the list of potential opponents.

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