Remembering Bob Menendez and Rudy Garcia

Hudson County is very much a two-party county these days — but the Republicans are not one of them. In the volatile 33rd district, where Senate Majority Leader (and Hudson County Democratic Chairman) Bernard Kenny is retiring, the two Democratic Assemblymen — Union City Mayor Brian Stack and West New York Mayor Sal Vega — are both running for the Senate.

Vega, who became Mayor and Assemblyman in November after Albio Sires went to Congress, appears to have the inside track on the Hudson County Democratic Organization endorsement. But Stack, with a $500,000 warchest, seems prepared to run anyway, and would enter the race as the favorite — even without the line. Stack has the ability to amass a massive plurality in Union City, where more than one-third of the primary votes will be cast, and won’t get shut out in West New York (about 20% of the district), where Vega’s friend-turned-enemy Albio Sires is likely to work on Stack’s behalf. Stack also has considerable support in Hoboken, where a little less than a quarter of the voters live — Democrats say Councilman Ruben Ramos will run for Assembly on his ticket. Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner is also expected to help Stack.