The race for an open seat in the 8th Congressional District of New Jersey has a new progressive candidate, with Jersey City resident David Ocampo Grajales entering the contest to represent the Hudson County-based district in Congress.
“People are struggling to make ends meet,” said Garjales in a press release. “Every year, their rent goes up while their income stays the same. Health insurance gets more expensive, but always seems to cover less. I’m running because people are tired of the blanket promises that are always one election away.”
Born and raised in northern New Jersey as a son of immigrants from Colombia, Grajales is director of a start-up that helps hospitals and universities.
Grajales rolled out a progressive platform such as Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, housing and education as he enters a now three-way primary race to succeed outgoing Rep. Albio Sires, a Democrat who is retiring after his term ends in 2023.
He and another progressive, Ricardo Rojas, are looking to challenge Robert Menendez Jr., the son of U.S. Senator Robert Menedez and the establishment’s favorite to succeed Sires, in the Democratic primary in June.
“We need a representative in Washington who has the will to put people before profits and communities before corporations,” continued Garjales. “Our communities deserve someone who actually represents us, who has the same sense of urgency that we do, and who knows we can’t afford to wait anymore.”
The primary for the race will take place on June 7. As the 8th District is a heavily Democratic stronghold, whoever wins the primary is the likely favorite to win the general election in November.