Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-West New York), who will likely lose the Hudson County Democratic endorsement for re-election in 2023 due to a larger game of political musical chairs, has signaled defiance while not making any firm commitments about what she plans to do.
“I love the Assembly, I’ve been in it for ten years, and I’m really proud of my accomplishments,” Jimenez said in an interview on Friday. “Listen: it’s the people that elect the candidates. I focus on my track record, I focus on what I believe in, and that’s the bottom line.”
The New Jersey Globe reported on Friday that retiring Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York) is gunning for a comeback as the mayor of his hometown next year, 16 years after leaving that very job to run for Congress. In exchange, incumbent Mayor Gabe Rodriguez would get the Hudson County line for the Assembly – and Jimenez would be pushed out.
Jimenez’s two seatmates in the 32nd district, soon to be renumbered as the 33rd, are also on the outs. State Sen. Nicholas Sacco (D-North Bergen) has already announced his retirement in deference to fellow State Sen. Brian Stack (D-Union City), while Assemblyman Pedro Mejia (D-Secaucus) is likely to lose the line in favor of a North Bergen candidate.
As the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice’s Henal Patel noted on Twitter, that means an entirely new legislative delegation for the new 33rd district has essentially been decided more than a year in advance, with no input from the district’s voters. Jimenez, however, insisted that the Assembly seat belongs to the people and hinted that she may consider an off-the-line run.
“It’s the people that will make the decisions about who their representatives and their mayors and their assemblymembers and their senators will be,” she said. “That’s who we work for. It’s our constituents.”
But as the news of Sires’ office-hopping broke on Friday, Jimenez was dealing with an entirely separate incident: a shooting in West New York that left the suspect dead and a police officer injured. Jimenez, whose son is a West New York police officer, said that at the end of the day, elections aren’t the most important thing in life.
“The election is so far away, and from now until next year, so much can happen,” she said. “My election – that’s the last thing on my mind right now. That’s God’s honest truth. Elections come and go, but the most important thing is that my kids are ok.”