Six weeks before West New York municipal elections, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez has signed on to join mayor Felix Roque at an event today with the First Lady Fabiana Rosales, the wife acting Venezuela president Juan Guaidó.
Menendez’s decision to join Roque comes at a time when the rest of the Hudson County Democratic organization has lined up in support of an opposition ticket led by incumbents Gabriel Rodriguez and Cosmo Cirillo.
A strong Menendez political ally, Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York), is leading the campaign to topple Roque. The New Beginnings West New York slate also has the backing of Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, North Bergen mayor Nicholas Sacco and Hudson County Democratic chair Amy DeGise.
Sires, who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Western Hemisphere subcommittee, was not included on the Menendez-Roque event.
Roque, first elected mayor in 2011, endorsed Republican State Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Middletown) for U.S. Senate in 2012 but backed Menendez for re-election last year.
Rosales is in New York to build support for her husband’s bid to end the regime of Nicolás Maduro. Guaidó became acting president in February and has been recognized as the head of state by the U.S.
Roque and Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will present proclamations to the first lady praising Guaidó for his “efforts in restoring the rule of law and bringing peace and democracy to Venezuela,” according to a press release issued by Roque.
“Senator Menendez is in Washington today and is not attending this event,” said Steve Sandberg, a spokesman for Menendez.