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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Menendez won’t commit to backing Menendez for Congress

By Joey Fox, January 25 2022 2:49 pm

Port Authority Commissioner Rob Menendez’s bid for New Jersey’s 8th congressional district has gotten the support of virtually every major Democrat in New Jersey politics, from Gov. Phil Murphy to Senator Cory Booker. There’s one prominent name missing from the list of endorsements, however: Menendez’s father, Senator Bob Menendez.

Realistically, the elder Menendez is sure to support his son’s bid for Congress, and has likely already played a key role in making sure state Democrats line up behind him. But asked today whether he plans to formally endorse his son, Menendez demurred.

“At some point in time, in the near future, I’ll speak to [whether I’m supporting him],” Menendez said.

As soon as the New Jersey Globe broke the news of Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York)’s retirement last month, the younger Menendez has been the dominant frontrunner to replace him. Menendez already has the support of the Hudson and Union County Democratic Parties, critical for gaining a favorable position on the primary ballot.

So far, Menendez faces two opponents in the primary: Ricardo Rojas and David Ocampo Grajales. Neither has run for political office before, but Rojas was the campaign manager for Hector Oseguera, who ran against Sires in the 2020 Democratic primary and got 27% of the vote.

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