Rob Menendez Jr. secured his election victory with an overwhelming landslide against his Republican opponent Marcos Arroyo in the battle for the 8th Congressional District in New Jersey.
Menendez Jr., who is a native to Hudson County, raised in Union City and the son of Cuban immigrants, will succeed U.S. Rep. Albio Sires, who will be retiring this year.
Menendez won the Democratic nomination on June 7, and prevailed in the November 8 election with 59,602 votes (72 percent) while his opponent Arroyo shadowed him by 19,185 (23 percent).
The 8th District has undergone a bit of geographical reshaping after the redistricting process which happened last year pursuant to the results of the 2020 U.S. Census.
Now the newly-mapped 8th Congressional District will comprise of Union City, North Bergen, Guttenberg, West New York, Weehawken, Hoboken, all of Bayonne, Harrison, East Newark, and half of Kearny.
Menendez Jr. holds a position as a counsel at the Lowenstein Sandler national law firm and has been a commissioner on the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey since last June.
He was endorsed by Gov. Phil Murphy, the Hudson County Democratic Party, and virtually every elected Democratic official in Hudson County.
As the son of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, who once served as a congressman for the 13th Congressional District in New Jersey, he commended his father for leading him to the path of politics.
The 37-year-old will be serving as a U.S. Representative for the first time.
“The work is never done,” said Menendez Jr., who spoke at Liberty House Restaurant after his victory. He explained why he launched his candidacy after the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. “That day reflected the worst of what our country has become,” said Menendez Jr.
In his speech he said the work “will always continue” as he described some of the challenges Americans are facing day to day in terms of issues that have undergone radical changes due to recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, such as abortion rights and gun violence.
“Are we going to allow our children to be the victims of gun violence in their own classrooms,” said Menendez, referring to the Uvalde shooting which ended the lives of nineteen children and two teachers.
He closed his speech by discussing the direction American democracy was heading, and said the the time to act to preserve democracy was now.
“The time has come where we have to prove to our neighbors, prove it to our families, prove it to our children, prove it to ourselves,”
Voter turnout for this election was 26 percent of all registered voters.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Jordan Coll can be reached at email@example.com.