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Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

New Jersey’s top Democrats back Sires

Incumbent gets a boost with election a week-and-a-half out

By Nikita Biryukov, June 26 2020 3:29 pm

Four of New Jersey’s top Democrats backed Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York) for re-election Friday.

Gov. Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, U.S. Senators  Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise  endorsed the congressman Friday, less than two weeks before the eight-term congressman faces progressive primary challenger Hector Oseguera at the polls.

“Albio Sires is among the most dedicated public servants I have ever met and his record of supporting progressive policy solutions and fighting for working families is unparalleled,” Murphy said. “From leading in our fight for federal funding for essential transportation infrastructure, to advocating for a higher federal minimum wage to standing up for affordable health care access, Congressman Sires is consistently on the right side of the issues that matter most to our state and I’m proud to support him.”

Sires, a close Menendez ally, took the senator’s House seat after he ascended to Congress’s upper chamber in 2006.

The former West New York mayor remains a force in Hudson County politics. His grudge against former West New York Mayor Felix Roque helped see Gabriel Rodriguez oust Roque in a county-backed sweep of the town’s 2019 non-partisan municipal elections.

“From his days as a Mayor working to build more affordable housing, to his time as a state legislative leader fighting for more public education funding, to his time in Congress leading on economic justice issues, Albio Sires has always been someone working families can count on,” said Senator Menendez. “I’m honored to call him a friend and a colleague and he has my unequivocal support to continue working for the people of Hudson, Essex, Union and Bergen counties.”

The wave of high-profile endorsements suggests that Democrats in Hudson County, a place not known for machine politics fumbles, aren’t taking Oseguera’s challenge lightly, despite the incumbent’s massive cash advantage as the race hurdles towards its end.

As of June 17, Sires had $115,243.27 in his warchest despite lackluster fundraising between April 1 and June 17, according to pre-primary filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission.

Oseguera, by contrast, reported having $16,998.42 banked.

“It’s an honor to earn the support of New Jersey’s leading Democrats who have seen my record of standing up for our values and delivering for the people I represent up close,” said Sires. “This is a time of unprecedented turmoil and pain in our country, but it’s also a moment when Democrats are poised to stand united in rejecting the failed Trump administration and returning honesty, compassion and competence to the White House.”

“I stand ready to continue that fight through November and to work alongside Governor Murphy, Lt. Governor Oliver, Senator Menendez and Senator Booker to continue fighting for New Jersey,” he said.

This story was updated on June 29 at 9:33 AM.

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