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Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Weinberg not scared of challenge from Hameeduddin

Teaneck mayor wouldn’t rule out 2021 challenge against majority leader

By Nikita Biryukov, June 21 2019 9:59 am

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg isn’t scared of a primary challenge from Teaneck Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin.

“It’s a free society. In two years, feel free,” Weinberg said when asked to respond to Hameeduddin’s refusal to rule out a run against her in 2021.

Earlier this month, Hameeduddin, Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse and Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich appeared alongside Gov. Phil Murphy to endorse his proposal for a millionaire’s tax.

The three men represent the largest towns in the 37th legislative district, which Weinberg represents.

Labrosse was the only one of the three to rule out a challenge to Weinberg, though Sokolich was far less combative in his declaration than Hameeduddin was.

“She’ll be 87 years old. I really hope somebody challenges her,” Hameeduddin told the New Jersey Globe on June 3. “I’m not saying I will or I wouldn’t. I’m sure that there would be a lot of people that would step up at that point. I haven’t even spoken to my wife about it, so I couldn’t tell you if I ruled it out or even ruled it in.”

Sokolich, on the other hand, said he didn’t think it was possible to permanently rule something out in politics, adding that he was “very happy” where he was.

Weinberg and Hameeduddin have been longtime political rivals in Teaneck, where the senator launched her political career as an activist and councilwoman and remains extraordinarily popular.

She said her victory against Hameeduddin wouldn’t be hard-earned.

“Very easily,” Weinberg said when asked if she could beat Hameeduddin.

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