Gov. Phil Murphy has endorsed Robert J. Menendez for the Democratic nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 8th district., a move that gives the son of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez a likely lock on a seat in Congress.
“As we continue to deal with the challenges of a global pandemic, the people of Hudson, Essex, and Union Counties will need a strong champion to build upon the work of Congressman Sires,” Murphy said. “Robert is exactly the type of leader we need to fight for working and middle-class New Jersey families.”
Menendez has locked up the Hudson County Democratic organization line – including an expected endorsement from Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop – and Murphys’ support will make it nearly impossible for a progressive candidate to gain any meaningful traction.
Murphy had named Menendez to a seat on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last year.
“Having grown up in Hudson County, he knows the families and communities he is seeking to represent, and I believe he’ll be a strong voice for good-paying jobs, affordable health care, strong public schools, and reliable mass transit,” the governor said. “As a millennial, Robert represents a new generation of leadership whose voices need to be represented within our Congressional delegation and in the halls of Congress.”
Murphy also paid tribute to Sires, who plans to step down from his House seat after nearly sixteen years in office.
“Throughout his career, Congressman Albio Sires has served the people of New Jersey with honor and distinction,” Murphy stated. “From his time as Mayor of West New York to his tenure as the first Hispanic Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly to his distinguished career in Congress, Albio never forgot the values that he learned as a young immigrant to this country: hard work, fairness, responsibility, and opportunity.”
Sires told the New Jersey Globe that he’ll formally announce his retirement before the end of the year and plans to back Menendez as his successor.
“As he prepares to retire from public office, Tammy and I would like to thank him for his long and impressive record of public service to the people of Hudson County and New Jersey.”