Rep. Menendez reflects on primary: ‘I’m extremely thankful for [voters] confidence’


U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8) reflected on his primary victory shortly after taking the stage last night, noting that “I’m extremely thankful for their [voters] confidence.”

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I always said I trusted the voters, that I trusted them to look at our track record and be able to distinguish that from the noise and they delivered and that’s what I’ve always said,” he began in an interview at Hudson Hall.

“I’m extremely thankful for their confidence and continuing to deliver for them as their Democratic nominee and then hopefully as their representative for another two years.”

Menendez had a tooth-and-nail battle with Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who honed in on the corruption charges against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rob’s father, throughout the campaign, a theme that was consistent through Election Day.

When asked if their relationship could ever be repaired after his double-digit victory (53.7 percent to 35.8 percent with 84 percent of the vote counted per the New York Times), Menendez said nothing would change in a governmental capacity.

“Well, on the official side, there’s nothing to repair, I was telling someone earlier that we have community funding projects that people used to call earmarks, I reached out to him in the middle of the campaign, his administration submitted a request, and we only have a limited number of requests but it was one of the ones that we submitted,” Menendez explained.

“Even in the middle of this campaign, as hard as it was on the political side, we continued to work together. And when I spoke to him tonight, I thanked him and said I look forward to continuing to go to work for the residents of Hoboken. There will be no issue there. We’ll always be of service to those incredible residents.”

When pressed if their personal relationship was effectively over, Menendez smiled and said “I think at this point you will not see a holiday card,” indicating that he was disappointed with the race Bhalla ran, but said things could change over time.

He also reemphasized that nothing would change on the official side.

In the event he is re-elected in November, he said he’d like to focus on housing affordability, mass transit, and infrastructure.

“We got to this point by focusing what’s in our control and that got us to this victory tonight. We’ll have those conversations, and we’re ready to have them, but tonight I want to focus on this victory and what we were able to achieve under really difficult circumstances,” he concluded when asked who he would support in the Senate race.

U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3) won his primary against Dr. Patricia Campos Medina and Larry Hamm handily, taking on Republican nominee Curtis Bashaw in November, though Senator Menendez has filed petitions to run as an independent.

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