Robert Menendez Jr., the son of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, has officially announced his candidacy for the 8th Congressional District of New Jersey, which encompasses most of Hudson County.
Menendez Jr. made his candidacy official on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He hopes to succeed Rep. Albio Sires, a Democrat, who decided not to seek reelection last month and is retiring after his term ends.
“This is a generation defining moment,” said Menendez Jr. in a statement “How we move forward in a time of insurrection, global pandemic, and economic uncertainty will define the America we leave for our children to inherit and will take all of us working together to succeed.”
He is currently counsel at the Lowenstein Sandler national law firm. He has also been a commissioner on the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey since last June.
Since Sires’ announcement last month, Menendez Jr. has received backing from many Hudson County and statewide Democrats, including Sires himself, and is clearly the establishment’s pick for the seat.
“The assault on the Capitol was about a part of our country unwilling to accept that our nation is changing and holding on to a past that has left too many behind,” he said. “To move on from this chapter, we must urgently ‘strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds,’” he said, citing Lincoln’s second inaugural address.
The 8th Congressional District that Menendez Jr. is running in saw little changes to its geographical makeup after the redistricting process last year, with it currently encompassing half of Jersey City, where he resides, Union City, North Bergen, Guttenberg, West New York, Weehawken, Hoboken, all of Bayonne, Harrison, East Newark, and half of Kearny.
While Menendez Jr. is so far the only candidate running, progressives in Hudson County are likely to put a challenger to the establishment after a primary battle in 2020 between Sires and progressive candidate Hector Oseguera.
As the 8th District is a heavily Democratic stronghold, whoever wins the primary on June 7 this year will be the likely favorite to win the general election.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mark Koosau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or his Twitter @snivyTsutarja.