Home>Congress>Menendez taps Rodas as new state director

Rudy Rodas, the state director for U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. (Photo: Rudy Rodas).

Menendez taps Rodas as new state director

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By David Wildstein, January 12 2022 1:09 pm

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez has named Rudy Rodas, an aide to Gov. Phil Murphy, as his new state director.

A Union City native like Menendez, Rodas joined the Murphy administration as an associate counsel to the governor in March 2020 after spending more than four years as an attorney for the U.S. Social Security Administration in Jersey City.

“Rudy brings to the team a deep knowledge of New Jersey and the issues that impact communities across the state,” Menendez said.  “He has a sharp mind and is passionate about his work and finding solutions. Whether advocating on behalf of the immigrant community or advising on policies related to transportation, housing or economic opportunity, he brings an unrivaled work ethic and commitment that will help guide our operation in the state.”

The state director post has been vacant since Raphael Chavez-Fernandez departed in August to join the Biden administration as the deputy assistant U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Murphy praised Rodas, say that “our loss is Senator Menendez’s gain.”

“Rudy’s significant contributions to our administration over the last two years have helped make our state stronger, fairer, and more equitable,” Murphy said. “Senator Menendez’s state offices are in great hands with Rudy at the helm, and I congratulate him on this new opportunity to continue his dedication to public service.”

Rodas now has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of two other past Menendez state directors, former Assembly Majority Whip Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Bayonne) and Michael Soliman, who now runs the New Jersey office of a leading public affairs company, Mercury.

As an associate counsel, Rodas worked for Chief Counsel Parimal Garg and for Chief of Staff George Helmy, a former state director to U.S. Senator Cory Booker.

He also joins Menendez’s staff at a time when the senator’s son, Robert J. Menendez, has emerged as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 8th district.  The longtime incumbent, Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York), is not seeking re-election.

“Senator Menendez is a tireless leader advocating for the people of New Jersey on important issues such as affordable housing, immigration, consumer protections, healthcare, and more,” Rodas said.  “I look forward to working with our dedicated Jersey City and Barrington staff to enact the Senator’s vision and help ensure that residents across the state are heard here and in Washington.”

Rebecca O’Neil has joined Menendez’s Senate staff as an outreach specialist.  She had previously been a caseworker manager on the staff of Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes).


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