Menendez Jr. is the heir apparent to the seat of Sires

Nothing proves progressive arguments about a rigged political game when it comes to candidate selection than the recent proposal that Robert Menendez, Jr. should inherit his father’s former seat in the House of Representatives once Albio Sires him. will leave next year.

Menendez, Jr. is a remarkably nice guy. But he has no experience at any level of government, having never been elected to public office. Suddenly, he is pushed into a seat that others before him had to earn the hard way. Indeed, his father traveled the route of lower public office before finally reaching the top. US Senator, which he currently holds.

Even Sires rose through the ranks of power, working his way to overthrowing seemingly hard-nosed Western New York Mayor Anthony Defino to become mayor, assemblyman, assembly speaker and then congressman.

The fact that Menendez, Jr.’s father is such a powerful figure in Hudson County, none of the political princes who determine who gets what here will oppose his candidacy.

The mayor’s last fight for such a position came after the death of Donald Payne Sr. in the 10th Arrondissement, when Bayonne Mayor and Hudson County Democratic Organization President Mark Smith went against current and tried to get the more than qualified Nia Gill appointed to the seat – in opposition to Menendez’s choice of Donald Payne, Jr. was among several political mistakes leading to Smith’s downfall.

No one – except progressives – will make the same mistake this time around, especially since the heir apparent is the son of one of New Jersey’s most powerful politicians. Even Sires wisely endorsed Menendez, Jr. Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who is perpetually in search of a higher political perch to land on, was wise enough to endorse Menendez, Jr. as well. Bhalla owes much of his current political influence to state senator and Union City mayor Brian Stack – a strong ally of Menendez, Sr.

None of this is new. Passing the political torch from father to son is almost a tradition in New Jersey — though you could say it’s just the son following in his father’s footsteps. And it’s not exclusive to the Democratic Party. While Ronald Rice and his son are Democrats, Tom Kean, Sr. and his son follow the same pattern.

A number of Hudson County political figures have been watching Sires’ siege for some time. This may include Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who managed to win Sires’ endorsement for his re-election as mayor last year by swearing that he (Fulop) was not seeking to fill Sires’ seat. . The fact that Sires endorsed Menendez, Jr. must come as a blow to Fulop, and perhaps a chilling sign for the future, as this could be Menendez Jr.’s first steps towards running for mayor of Jersey City. .

Over the past few years, Menendez Jr. would have been a candidate to oppose Fulop in 2021, which didn’t materialize — in part because Menendez Jr. lacked the political experience to take on the mighty machine. Fulop.

Fulop has an unpleasant history with Menendez Sr., in that Menendez apparently believed that Fulop was secretly plotting to take the U.S. Senate seat if Menendez’s corruption trial went wrong. It turned out that Menendez was exonerated and, in a somewhat cryptic statement from the steps of federal court, vowed revenge on those who plotted against him – most people taking this as a message to Fulop.

Menendez Jr.’s rise to a seat in the House of Representatives will not come without opposition. The Progressives, who sought to unseat Sires last year, are likely to push for the nomination. They can even seek legal remedies as they did when they claimed the ballot name scheme was unfair and undemocratic. But elections like this are all about alliances, and with so many mayors of the 12 Hudson Counties (the princes of this kingdom) unwilling to contradict the father, they won’t support anyone against the son.

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