JERSEY CITY -U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) announced his re-election effort on Friday as an array of Hudson County and New Jersey Democrats stepped forward to endorse him.
“I look forward to representing this district once again,” said the Cuban-born Sires, whose Eighth Congressional District includes most of Hudson County as well as parts of Essex, Bergen and Union counties. Sires entered Congress in 2006, replacing Robert Menendez when he was selected to go from what was then the Thirteenth Congressional
District to the U.S. Senate.
“The things that are important to me are growing our economy and creating jobs right here in New Jersey, Sires added. “Investing in our transportation system is vital to enhancing our economy and improving our quality of life. As a member of the House committee on transportation and infrastructure, I have fought for legislation to invest in our infrastructure.”
Democrats from around the state, including U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and Newark councilman and mayoral candidate Anibal Ramos, Jr. came to show support for Sires. But it was Hudson County Democrats who spoke out the loudest for one of their own.
“Many of the leaders down there [in Washington] don’t really have experience as a councilman or a mayor dealing hands on with different people. When they think about dealing with billions and trillions of dollars, sometimes that’s abstract and you lose perspective,” Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said regarding Sires’s past positions as Speaker of the State Assembly and Mayor of West New York. “Albio Sires is similar to [U.S. Sen. Robert] Menendez: both mayors and both experienced in the Legislature. That really pays huge dividends for the residents of Jersey City.”
“When you choose to create change ,and change the course of events, you inevitably create challenge and conflict,” Menendez (D – NJ) said. “With Albio Sires, that fundamental difference is stark every day in terms of not being an observer in the House of Representatives, but seeking to change the course of events.”
Events within the past 24 hours took an interesting turn for Menendez when New Jersey’s senior U.S. Senator was the subject of an NBC story on Thursday sourcing an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Menendez denied there was anything improper in his office’s contact with two Ecuadorian bankers and criticized the report on Friday, calling the allegations raised “ridiculous.”
Several Hudson Democrats joined in a derisive chorus regarding the accusations made against Menendez, the dean of the county’s Democrats.
“I know Bob Menendez, and he’s one of the smartest, most ethical guys I’ve even seen,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise. “He’s way to smart to be doing something dumb. When the light of day is shone on this thing, it will shine favorably on the Senator.”
“I believe in the man. I believe that he’s done what is good for the community, especially the Hispanic community for his work on immigration reform,” said West New York Mayor Felix Roque. “I really don’t why he’s being targeted, but the man in honest. We’re proud of him.”
“This is ridiculous,” said Fulop, who rising political career began with a failed Congressional bid against Menendez in 2004. “He’s distinguished himself as a leader in the House and in the Senate. Unfortunately, the state of the media today is that somebody throws something up on a website and people grab on to it like it’s true. Senator Menendez’s thirty years of public service speak for itself. I think that people put a bull’s eye on him because he’s done such a great job.”