The younger Menendez — a freshman member of the House — represents a safe Democratic seat in Hudson County, across the river from New York City. His father’s role in helping him obtain support for the seat in 2022 with no real opposition is widely viewed as a key to his ascension to Congress.
His political future, however, has been brought into uncertainty as an explosive indictment was unsealed by federal prosecutors Friday against his father. The indictment alleges the elder Menendez used his office to improperly receive cash, gold bars and a luxury vehicle to assist New Jersey businesspeople and the Egyptian government.
Rob Menendez — who has not been charged or suspected of wrongdoing — has come to the defense of his father after nearly every major Democratic figure in the state has called for the senator’s resignation.
“I have unwavering confidence in my father and his dedication to the New Jerseyans who he has relentlessly fought for in his long career as a public servant. I strongly believe in his integrity and his values, and look forward to seeing him move past this distraction to continue fighting for our state in the United States Senate,” he said in a statement after the indictment was released on Friday.
The district encompasses much of deep-blue Hudson County, where Bob Menendez started his career in politics and enjoys his strongest political support. According to the New Jersey GlobeHoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla is considering a primary challenge against the younger Menendez.
Earlier Monday, Bob Menendez gathered the press to his native Union City to refute the charges against him and push back against the calls for his resignation.
“I firmly believe that when all the facts are presented, not only will I be exonerated, but I will still be New Jersey’s senior senator,” he said.