WEST NEW YORK – Ready to roll with the punches that define Hudson County politics, Hudson County Freeholder Jose Munoz (D) said that he wants to keep his seat, whatever challenges lie ahead during the 2014 campaign.
“I’m definitely running,” Munoz told PolitickerNJ.com on Wednesday. “The people of the district are the ones who vote. Ultimately, they are the ones who make the decision.”
Munoz, who has represented West New York on the county board since 2007, played a central role in one of the most recent flashpoints in Hudson’s blood-sport political arena.
Federal charges were filed in 2012 against West New York Mayor Felix Roque and his son for allegedly hacking a website set up by Munoz that aimed to recall Roque. Some Hudson political observers suspected that the Roque indictments were retribution on behalf of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez as payback for the mayor’s support for state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos in the 2012 U.S. Senate race, a contest won decisively by the incumbent senator.
Roque was acquitted of the charges in October; his son, Joseph, was convicted of a misdemeanor.
Court documents revealed that Munoz had been a confidential FBI informant since 2011, a move that earned him praise from Freeholder Chairman Anthony Romano and Freeholder Bill O’Dea.
The West New York mayor told PolitickerNJ.com earlier this week that he now endorses Menendez “100 percent”.
Up for re-election to another three-year term in 2014, Munoz was not concerned that Mayor Roque’s freedom could mean his political downfall.
“It’s important to have the party’s support, but it’s not the first time that I could run without it,” Munoz said. “At this moment, I think that I will have the party’s support. But if I don’t, I will run anyway with the same strength.”