Rep. Menendez wins CD-8 primary, beats Bhalla on strength of North Hudson


U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez won the 8th District congressional primary tonight, defeating Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla handily on the strength of the voter turnout in North Hudson.

U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8). X photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Thank you! We built a coalition that withstood some of the most vile things that could be thrown at a candidate,” Menendez declared in his victory speech. “We didn’t just deal with ads. We dealt with straight-up lies. We withstood it all, and we are here tonight victorious!”

“This district is about when you get knocked down picking yourself back up. No one had to face the challenges we had to face this election cycle, and we’re still here! We ran on our track record and that is what voters responded to tonight. We will always fight for you! Whatever questions people had about me we answered them tonight. We earned this election. We fought for this election!”

Bhalla brought the fight to Menendez for months, tying him to his father, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) for getting Democratic power brokers to back his candidacy two years ago and then over the litany of corruption charges currently against him.

While the younger Menendez is not implicated in the ongoing case playing out in Manhattan federal court, the Mile Square City mayor was unrelenting on the subject, with a super PAC, America’s Promise, also helping hammer the same point home.

Despite that, along with the fact that this primary did not have county organizational lines, the Democratic apparatuses in North Hudson, buoyed by state Senator/Union City Mayor Brian Stack, didn’t lose a step.

Guttenberg, North Bergen, Weehawken, and West New York were all big vote getters for the incumbent, who only lost to Bhalla in 2 out of 13 municipalities in the district: Hoboken and Jersey City, both of which were way closer than up north.

A third candidate, Kyle Jasey, who never had a real shot with lackluster fundraising in a raise where at least $4.5 million were spent when it’s all said and done, looks like he’ll finish with roughly five percent of the vote.

Rep. Menendez’s seat is now safe until 2026, while Bhalla will have to decide if he seeks a third term as mayor in November of next year.

“I just got off the phone with Congressman Menendez, I congratulated him on a battle well fought, a victory well fought, this is not exactly the speech I wanted to give, but I’m very, very proud of everybody in this room because we shook up the system through this election,” Bhalla said.


Editor’s note: News Correspondent Daniel Ulloa contributed to this article.

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  1. Gobsmacked that Ravi won in Hoboken. What was the vote totals? GOTV effectiveness among cronies? Uninformed Hoboken residents? WTF people? Kick Bhalla to the rat infested curb, and, lord, no Russo 2.0!!

  2. Thankfully, Andy Kim’s win ends Daddy Goldbar’s plan for Nepo Baby to become president by first succeeding him in the Senate.

    Now the question is, will Nepo Baby endorse Kim or his ethically challenged daddy?

    Sadly, I will hold my nose and vote for Nepo Baby, as will thousands. Sucks, but electing republicans is suicide.

  3. The Hoboken results are dismal with 1850 for Ravi and 1075 for Rob. 1850 votes is about the amount of votes from one ward out of six in a council race. This is worse than Ravi winning 32 percent of the people who voted for mayor in 2017. It’s worse than winning unopposed in 2021 after other candidates decided not to run out of some broken pledge to be gone. Hoboken is not behind Ravi.

  4. Just wanted to thank you for your coverage since most of local press seems to have given up on covering these elections at all and certainly not with any insight about Ravi. If not for you, (sometimes) and (sometimes) the Patch we’d have know idea what’s going on. Now Ravi has to start being mayor again and we need the press to write about much more then politics. So much needs do be done in Hoboken IMHO.