After revealing that he may run for 8th District congressional seat currently occupied by U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla is joining the chorus of calls for U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to resign.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Mayor Bhalla agrees with Gov. Murphy that Senator Menendez should resign,” said Rob Horowitz, a spokesman for Bhalla.
He is the second elected official from the Mile Square City, with 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher doing so on Saturday in an email blast, the day after the indictment was unsealed.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, the only declared candidate for governor in 2025 and a longtime political adversary of the senator, has expectedly been critical of him post-indictment, implying he should resign without directly saying it.
He has also expressed some enthusiasm for the Senate candidacies of U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3) and Tammy Murphy. Kim has already announced while the First Lady is mulling a possible run.
Yesterday, Horowitz confirmed that Bhalla, the Hoboken mayor since 2018 and the first Sikh mayor in New Jersey, that he is “seriously considering running for Congress” in the June 4th, 2024, when Bob Menendez’s U.S. Senate seat is also up.
A few hours later, Rob Menendez, who was elected easily last year after receiving the Democratic party lines in Hudson, Essex, and Union Counties, announced he’d be seeking re-election and took a shot at Bhalla for his “naked political ambition,” as HCV first reported.
The Hudson County Democratic Organization has remained neutral on the Menendez case, which is it alleged that he and his wife accepted corrupt payments for their mortgage, a 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300, $486,471 in cash, another $79,760 from the safe deposit box, two one-kilogram gold bars, and 11 one-ounce gold bars.
Bhalla’s remarks come after high profile Democrats in Washington D.C. such as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and junior New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a longtime friend of Bob Menendez and mentor of Bhalla.
Booker’s call to resign came after the majority of the New Jersey congressional delegation had done so, with the exceptions of U.S. Reps. Donald Payne (D-10) and Bonnie Watson Coleman, who did not call for Bob Menendez to step down.
Prior to that at a press conference yesterday, Senator Menendez reiterated that he has no plans to resign and will go to trial.
He faced federal corruption charges in 2015 that resulted in a hung jury in 2017 and both Booker and Bhalla were enthusiastic supporters of his re-election campaign in 2018.