Menendez’s son prepares to run for the siege of his father’s former home
Robert Menendez Jr., the 36-year-old son of the senior senator from New Jersey to the United States, told political leaders he would run for Congress to replace Rep. Albio Sires, who announced on Monday that he would not stand for re-election. not.
If elected, Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, and his father, Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 67, would likely serve together in Washington.
Young Mr Menendez is a practicing lawyer who would make his first run for public office, and he is set to face challengers from the left in the Democratic stronghold which includes heavily urban parts of Hudson, Essex and counties. ‘Union. He did not return calls or emails.
But even before Mr Sires confirmed his intention to step down at the end of his term next year, powerful political leaders had already started to rally their support behind Mr Menendez.
In an interview on Tuesday, Mr Sires, the former mayor of West New York, NJ, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2006, said young Mr Menendez told him he was planning to run and asked for his support.
Senator Menendez, who declined to comment through a spokesperson, held the same seat in the House before being appointed to the Senate in 2006 to fill a post left vacant by Jon Corzine after his election to the post of governor; the boundaries of the district, now known as the Eighth Congressional District, have since been slightly redesigned.
In June, Menendez was appointed commissioner of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority after being appointed by Governor Philip D. Murphy, a fellow Democrat.
“I think he’s a perfect fit for the district,” said Mr. Sires, 70, who emigrated from Cuba at the age of 11.
As a moderate who is also of Cuban descent, Mr Menendez is said to have good relations with voters, Mr Sires said.
“He’s brilliant. It is articulated. He’s energetic, ”Sires said. “He comes from a good line. “
“He said to me, ‘Anything I can do to help him, please do it,’” Mr Sires added. “I told him I would be there.
Brian Stack, a state senator who is also mayor of Union City, a largely Latino community that is a key electoral bloc in the district, also quickly expressed his support for Mr Menendez.
“He’s going to be a great member of Congress,” Mr. Stack told the New Jersey Globe, who first reported that Mr. Sires was retiring and that Mr. Menendez was planning to run for the empty seat.
Hector Oseguera, a leftist Democrat who challenged Mr Sires last year and largely lost, said running in the district required a deep understanding of the Democratic political machine in Hudson County.
“You can’t really parachute,” said Oseguera, who said he would only consider running if “no one emerges from the progressive movement.”
Ravi Bhalla, a progressive Democrat who was re-elected mayor of Hoboken last month, had been seen as a potential candidate for the seat. But on Tuesday, Mr Bhalla, New Jersey’s first elected Sikh mayor, rushed to the fact that he had every interest in running and strongly suggested he would support the candidate selected by the Democratic Party leadership.
“While I am honored and touched to have been approached by members of the Sikh and South Asian community, as well as other stakeholders, to come forward to Congress,” he said. wrote on Twitter, “I am 100% committed to serving the people of Hoboken as mayor. “
Mr Sires, who has served on the House of Commons transport and foreign affairs committees, said he considers the passage of President Biden’s $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill – and the benefits which he provides for public transportation in New Jersey – the cornerstone of his career.
He is one of 25 members of Congress who have announced they are leaving politics.
“It is about time,” said Mr. Sires, who also served in the New Jersey Legislature, where he was the first speaker of the Latin American Assembly. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity this country has given me, and I’m glad I had the chance to give back.”
He said the hyperpartisan political divide in Washington played a role in his decision.
“Washington is a very difficult place to work now,” he said. “You have to either be part of the left or be part of the right. There seems to be no room in the middle.
Senator Menendez’s quest for power is markedly different from that of his son. Before turning 21, the senator was elected to the Union City school board, where he grew up, the son of Cuban immigrants. He went on to become the city’s mayor and state legislator.
Decades later, he survived a Senate panel warning for accepting gifts from a wealthy doctor and a 2017 federal corruption trial. He emerged years later as one of the most powerful Democratic members of Congress.
Only two of the 12 representatives in the New Jersey House are Republicans. But a redistribution commission is expected to release the state’s new congressional map on Wednesday, and several Democrats in swing districts face fierce challenges for re-election as Mr. Biden’s popularity wanes.
It is not uncommon for a child to follow a parent to Congress; he performed at least 42 times in the Senate alone between 1774 and 1989, according to the United States Congressional Biographical Directory.
But only a handful of children sat in Congress at the same time as their parents, and there are no pairs in the current 117th Congress, according to the Library of Congress.
Mr. Menendez, who is registered to vote in Jersey City, New Jersey, graduated in 2008 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, according to a biography posted on his law firm’s website. He and his father are both graduates of Rutgers Law School.
Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat from New Jersey who has worked closely with Mr. Sires in the House, called Mr. Sires “a giant in every sense of the word.”
“Albio fought for Amtrak and our commuters. He fought for immigrants and human rights. And he fought to give the Garden State its fair share of the pie that we are so often denied, ”Pascrell said in a statement.
“He’s my boyfriend and I will miss him a lot,” he added. “We have big shoes to fill.”