Home>Congress>Menendez getting Fulop endorsement, Hudson Democratic line, in bid for Congress

Rob Menendez, the son of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, with Hudson County Democratic Chair Amy DeGise, at the opening of Rep. Albio Sires' campaign headquarters on Bergenline Avenue in West New York on September 15, 2018. (Photo: New Jersey Globe.)

Menendez getting Fulop endorsement, Hudson Democratic line, in bid for Congress

U.S. Senator’s son is clear front runner for Albio Sires’ House seat in NJ-8

By David Wildstein, December 23 2021 12:59 pm

An agreement is in place for Robert J. Menendez to become the Hudson County candidate for the 8th district congressional seat next year, with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop backing Menendez’s candidacy, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

Menendez, a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the son of U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, is seeking the open seat of Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York), who is retiring at the end of his current term.

“During these challenging times, unity is important to best help our residents and today is a strong statement of the unity that exists right now in Hudson County. Congressman Sires has been a great representative and I stand with Robert J. Menendez because I’m confident that he will best be able to continue the progress in bringing the resources and support from the federal government that Jersey City needs.”

In addition to Fulop, Menendez has secured endorsements from two state senators, Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack and North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, as well as Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise and Hudson County Democratic Chair, Amy DeGise.

Amy DeGise said that she had been in “continuous discussions in recent days with our Mayors, elected officials and grassroots GOTV leaders.”

“We have an excellent candidate to continue delivering for Hudson County in my longtime friend Robert J. Menendez,” she said.  “As someone who grew up here in Hudson County just like I did and has seen it grow and change over the years, Rob has a clear understanding of what is needed from the federal government in order to support the progress happening in our communities and make sure no one is left behind.”

He’ll also have the support of the other nine Hudson County mayors, including Jimmy Davis of Bayonne, Richard Turner of Weehawken and Ravi Bhalla of Hoboken, all nine county commissioners, and the Hudson sheriff and county clerk.

Menendez will also win endorsements from all six members of the Hudson Assembly delegation, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) and Majority Whip Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Bayonne).

The solid support for Menendez, who will have the organization line in Hudson, makes him the clear front runner to succeed Sires.

“I know that Rob will work hard to bring federal resources back to Hudson County to support critical needs like improving our transportation networks, keeping our communities safe, bringing more jobs and opportunities to our residents and much more. On behalf of the Hudson County Democratic Organization and along with our Mayors, state legislators and county officials,” Amy DeGise said.  “I am proud to endorse Robert J. Menendez for Congress. I look forward to working alongside him to meet Democratic voters in the 8th District and share his vision for our communities, and I believe that he can be a candidate who will unite all of the different corners of our party behind a new generation of leadership.”

Joining Menendez’s roster of supporters are Mayors Dina Grilo of East Newark, Wayne Zitt of Guttenberg, James Fife of Harrison, Al Santos of Kearny,  Mike Gonnelli of Secaucus and Gabe Rodriguez of West New York.

Sires, a former West New York mayor and Assembly Speaker, has served in Congress since 2006.  He told the New Jersey Globe that he plans to announcement his retirement before the end of the year and that he will back Menendez for the seat.

The New Jersey Globe first reported Sires’ retirement and Menendez’s likely candidacy on Sunday evening.

Amy DeGise paid tribute to Sires’ career, calling him a “tireless champion for the working and middle class families of Hudson County throughout his incredible career in public service.”

“His leadership, determination to deliver for his constituents and commitment to upholding the values of our Democratic Party will be greatly missed,” she said.  “On behalf of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, I thank him for his distinguished career working for the people, as well as for the mentorship and guidance he has provided and for being there for me every step of the way of my own political journey. Congressman Sires won’t be going far and he will always be a respected leader in our party.”

The endorsement of Fulop, the mayor of the state’s second-largest city, is a big deal for Menendez and seemingly precludes any significant challenge in the June 2022 primary.

Menendez, an attorney from Jersey City, is seeking the seat his father held in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2006.

This story was updated at 2:34 PM.

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