Incoming Senate President Nicholas Scutari, Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage, State Sen. Joseph Cryan (D-Union) and Elizabeth Democratic Municipal Chairman Tony Teixeira will back Robert J. Menendez for Congress in New Jersey’s 8th district, continuing the juggernaut for Albio Sires’ open seat.
“Robert represents the next generation of leadership that we need to lead us into the future,” Bollwage said. “I know he will be a strong advocate for Elizabeth and will make our residents proud.”
Teixeira, who is Scutari’s chief of staff and a political ally of Bollwage, effectively awards the organization line in Union County. Under party rules, only the municipal chairs in a district vote to award the organization line and the county chairman would only break a tie. Since Elizabeth, the state’s fourth-largest city, is the lone Union County municipality in the 8th district, the line in this particular race is Teixeira’s pick.
“Elizabeth deserves a strong voice in Congress – that’s why I’m excited to support Robert Menendez to be our next representative,” stated Teixeira.
Scutari, who is also the Union County Democratic chairman, thanked Sires for his service and said he was “proud to endorse Menendez.”
In a tweet on Thursday, Cryan, who represents Elizabeth in the Senate, said he was “looking forward to supporting Rob for Congress.”
The campaign of Menendez, a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the son of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, has steadily gained steam since the New Jersey Globe first reported Sires retirement and Menendez’s likely candidacy on Sunday evening.
On Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, and the entire Hudson County Democratic establishment endorsed Menendez for the open seat, which also includes most of the North and East Wards of Newark.
This story was updated at 5:08 PM and at 7:06 PM.