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Robert J. Menendez. (Photo: Lowenstein Sandler).

Operating Engineers endorse Menendez for Congress

Local 825 praises Sires as ‘true transportation champion’ and bets Menendez will follow that model

By David Wildstein, March 10 2022 10:01 am

Robert J. Menendez has received the endorsement of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 for his bid for an open congressional seat in New Jersey’s 8th district.

Local 825 is one of the state’s most politically potent labor unions and their endorsement is typically accompanied by boots on the ground to turn out votes on Election Day and significant campaign expenditures.

Menendez, a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has emerged as the front-runner for the seat held since 2006 by Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York).  Sires is retiring at the end of his current term.

“Even before running for public office, Rob has been an advocate for the working and middle-class families of New Jersey,” said Greg Lalevee, the business manager of Local 825 and one of New Jersey’s most powerful labor leaders.  “He understands the issues facing the members of IUOE Local 825 and will provide the leadership we need during these divided times. Rob’s leadership will be crucial to continue the legacy of Congressman Sires as a true transportation champion.”

Two Democrats are challenging Menendez in the June 7 primary election: progressive David Ocampo and Brain Varela, who worked on the staff of Gov. Chris Christie in 2010.

Menendez is the son of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez.

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