Rob Menendez
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 8th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byAlbio Sires
Personal details
Born
Robert Jacobsen Menendez Jr.

(1985-07-12) July 12, 1985 (age 39)
Union City, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse
Alex Banfich
(m. 2017)
Children2
Relatives
EducationUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (BA)
Rutgers University–Newark (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Robert Jacobsen Menendez[1][2] (born July 12, 1985)[3] is an American lawyer and politician serving as the U.S. representative for New Jersey's 8th congressional district since 2023. A member of the Democratic Party and son of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, he was a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 2021 to 2023.[4]

Early life and education

Menendez was born and raised in Union City, New Jersey.[5] He is the son of Robert Menendez, a New Jersey politician and current Senator, and Jane Jacobsen, a public school teacher, school nurse, and guidance counselor.[6] He is Cuban-American by way of his paternal grandparents who came to the United States in 1953, fleeing the regime of Fulgencio Batista.[7]

Menendez attended Union City public schools through eighth grade and The Hudson School in Hoboken, New Jersey, for high school, graduating in 2003 from the private school, and later serving on its board of trustees.[8][9] He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers Law School, during which time he was president of the Student Bar Association, served as Notes and Comments Editor for Rutgers Race and the Law Review,[10] received the Alumni Senior Prize,[11] and was selected as a Governor’s Executive Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics.[12]

Early career

Menendez worked as a lawyer with Lowenstein Sandler LLP.[10]

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

On April 15, 2021, Menendez was nominated to be a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey by Governor Phil Murphy.[13] He was unanimously confirmed by the New Jersey State Senate on June 3, 2021,[14] and sworn in on June 4.[15] Menendez chaired the Governance and Ethics Committee and was a member of the Finance Committee, which oversees the Port Authority’s multi-billion-dollar annual budget.[16] He resigned as commissioner on January 2, 2023, the day before he joined Congress.[17]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2022

See also: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in New Jersey § District 8

As a member of the Democratic Party, Menendez announced his bid for New Jersey's 8th congressional district upon the retirement announcement of incumbent representative Albio Sires, who subsequently endorsed Menendez.[18] His father represented the area before Sires from 1993 to 2006, when it was numbered the 13th congressional district.[19]

Menendez was endorsed by prominent New Jersey politicians, including New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy,[20] U.S. Senator Cory Booker,[21] State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack,[12] State Senator and North Bergen Mayor Nicholas J. Sacco,[22] Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop,[22] Newark Mayor Ras Baraka,[23] Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage,[24] and others.

Menendez campaigned on addressing the needs of working- and middle-class families and the challenges associated with the rising costs of basic necessities such as housing, healthcare, education and family care. He spoke often about infrastructure investments, gun control, and reproductive choice.[25] Menendez's campaign expressed support for organized labor and workers rights. He was endorsed by numerous labor unions during his campaign.[26][27][28]

While running in his own race, Menendez raised and contributed $100,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with the funds directed to Democratic incumbents and challengers running in battleground districts.[29]

In the primary election, Menendez defeated two challengers, David Ocampo Grajales and Ane Roseborough-Eberhard, with 83.6% of the vote to Grajales's 11.3% and Roseborough-Eberhard's 5.1%.[30] In the general election, Menendez defeated Republican nominee Marcos Arroyo, 73.6% to 23.4%.[31]

Tenure

As a representative-elect, Menendez was elected by members of the Democratic freshman class to serve as freshman representative on the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee for 2023.[32] He was appointed to serve as a Regional Whip, a post in which he is responsible for assisting the Democratic Whip operation to track votes.[33] Menendez is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.[34]

In 2023, Menendez initially voted against the expulsion of George Santos, a Republican member of the House of Representatives who faced two federal indictments. Menendez cited the lack of a completion of the House Committee on Ethics' investigation as a reason for his position.[35] He later changed his position during the December 1, 2023 vote on the matter, voting "yes" to expel Santos[36] after the findings of the investigation had been unanimously adopted by the Committee and released on November 9.[37] This took place at the same time in which Menendez's father, Bob Menendez, faced pressure to step down amid a federal indictment.[38]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Menendez resides in Jersey City, New Jersey. He married Alex Banfich Menendez in 2017.[45] They have two children.[46][47]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Lowenstein Counsel Robert J. Menendez Nominated by Governor Phil Murphy to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners", Lowenstein Sandler, April 15, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2024. "New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has nominated Lowenstein Sandler counsel Robert J. Menendez, Jr. to the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey."
  2. ^ Corasaniti, Nick. "Menendez Trial Judge Rejects Motion to Dismiss the Case", The New York Times, "'They’re the best when they’re together,' said Robert J. Menendez Jr., Mr. Menendez’s son and the first witness called by the defense."
  3. ^ "New Jersey New Members 2023". November 17, 2022. Archived from the original on November 18, 2022. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  4. ^ Bredderman, William (May 29, 2022). "Inside a Dem Senator's Plan to Install His Son in Congress". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 23, 2023.
  5. ^ @robmenendez4nj (November 8, 2022). ".@OfficialUCNJ is a very special place to me. It's where I was raised + learned the value of public service. So it was an honor to walk this great city w/ @FirstLadyNJ, @LeRoyJJonesJr, @RajMukherji, Craig Guy + the Stack Team. Bonus: seeing our longtime family friend Juana!" (Tweet). Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ "Jane Jacobsen Menéndez - Biography". www.legistorm.com. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  7. ^ Kassel, Matthew (April 15, 2022). "The senator's son striving to be a Congress man". Jewish Insider. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  8. ^ Maher, Jake. "Rob Menendez, the congressional candidate, navigates stepping into and out of dad’s shadow" Archived November 15, 2022, at the Wayback Machine, The Jersey Journal, February 21, 2022. Accessed November 15, 2022. "Menendez earned his undergrad degree at the University of North Carolina after graduating from the Hudson School, a private school in Hoboken, in 2003."
  9. ^ "StackPath". www.thehudsonschool.org. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Robert J. Menendez | Our Lawyers". www.lowenstein.com. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  11. ^ Jake, Maher (February 21, 2022). "Rob Menendez, the congressional candidate, navigates stepping into and out of dad's shadow". nj. Archived from the original on November 15, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  12. ^ a b Tully, Tracey (December 22, 2021). "Menendez's Son Prepares to Run for His Father's Old House Seat". New York Times. Archived from the original on December 23, 2021. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  13. ^ Higgs, Larry (April 15, 2021). "Murphy nominates Sen. Menendez's son to high-profile Port Authority post". nj. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  14. ^ Higgs, Larry (June 3, 2021). "Sen. Menendez's son, three others named to Port Authority board by Senate". nj. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  15. ^ "Martinotti, Menendez, Richardson sworn in as new members of Port Authority board". ROI-NJ. June 4, 2021. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  16. ^ "Board of Commissioners". www.panynj.gov. Archived from the original on May 17, 2023. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  17. ^ Wildstein, David (January 2, 2023). "Menendez resigns Port Authority post". New Jersey Globe. Mayfair Media. Archived from the original on January 2, 2023. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  18. ^ "Rep. Albio Sires to retire, back Sen. Bob Menendez's son for seat". Roll Call. December 20, 2021. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  19. ^ Tully, Tracey (December 22, 2021). "Menendez's Son Prepares to Run for His Father's Old House Seat". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 12, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  20. ^ Wildstein, David (December 23, 2021). "Murphy endorses Menendez for Congress in NJ-8". New Jersey Globe. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  21. ^ Wildstein, David (December 24, 2021). "Booker endorses Menendez for NJ-8 House seat". New Jersey Globe. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  22. ^ a b Wildstein, David (December 23, 2021). "Menendez getting Fulop endorsement, Hudson Democratic line, in bid for Congress". New Jersey Globe. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  23. ^ Heinis, John (May 19, 2022). "Newark Mayor Ras Baraka endorses Rob Menendez in 8th District congressional race". Hudson County View. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  24. ^ Wildstein, David (December 23, 2021). "Union County goes for Menendez, with endorsements from Scutari, Bollwage, Teixeira". New Jersey Globe. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  25. ^ Racioppi, Dustin. "Who's running and top issues: What to know about NJ's 8th Congressional District primary". North Jersey Media Group. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  26. ^ Wildstein, David (March 17, 2022). "Menendez endorsed by Carpenters union". New Jersey Globe. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  27. ^ Heinis, John (May 31, 2022). "Hudson County Building and Construction Trades Council backs Menendez for Congress". Hudson County View. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  28. ^ "Rob Menendez Endorsed by Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey and International Association of Firefighters". Insider NJ. June 27, 2022. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  29. ^ Wildstein, David (October 4, 2022). "Rob Menendez raising big money for House Democrats in tight races". New Jersey Globe. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  30. ^ "New Jersey Eighth Congressional District Primary Election Results". The New York Times. June 7, 2022. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  31. ^ "New Jersey Eighth Congressional District Election Results". The New York Times. November 8, 2022. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  32. ^ Wildstein, David (December 9, 2022). "Menendez gets seat on powerful House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee". New Jersey Globe. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  33. ^ Henig, Jeffrey (December 23, 2022). "Rep.-Elect Rob Menendez To Serve As Regional Whip For House Democrats". Hudson TV. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  34. ^ Bernal, Rafael (November 27, 2022). "New wave of Hispanic lawmakers to hit House". The Hill. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  35. ^ Solender, Andre; Kight, Stef W. (November 2, 2023). "George Santos finds unlikely protectors in House Democrats". Axios. Retrieved May 1, 2024.((cite news)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  36. ^ Gamio, Lazaro; Williams, Josh; Wu, Ashley; Escobar, Mollly Cook (December 1, 2023). "How Every Member Voted On The Expulsion of George Santos From Congress". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 1, 2023. Retrieved May 1, 2024.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  37. ^ Joyce, David P. (November 9, 2023). "In The Matter Of Allegations Relating To Representative George Santos" (PDF). U.S. House of Representatives. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 17, 2023. Retrieved May 1, 2023.
  38. ^ Hanrahan, Tim (September 24, 2023). "Sen. Bob Menendez Faces Growing Pressure From Democrats to Resign". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on September 24, 2023. Retrieved May 1, 2024.
  39. ^ "Representative Rob Menendez Secures Key Committee Assignments". TAPinto. Archived from the original on May 11, 2023. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  40. ^ Wildstein, David (January 26, 2023). "Menendez gets seats on transportation, homeland security committees". New Jersey Globe. Archived from the original on May 11, 2023. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  41. ^ Bernal, Rafael (November 27, 2022). "New wave of Hispanic lawmakers to hit House". The Hill. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  42. ^ Bustillo, Ximena (January 28, 2023). "With an eye on working families, Democrats launch the Congressional Dads Caucus". NPR. Archived from the original on May 16, 2023. Retrieved September 23, 2023.
  43. ^ "House members launch Renters Caucus to focus on affordable housing". www.ny1.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2023. Retrieved July 22, 2023.
  44. ^ Fazelpoor, Matthew (April 17, 2023). "Bill to restore SALT deduction introduced in Congress". NJBIZ. Archived from the original on July 22, 2023. Retrieved July 22, 2023.
  45. ^ "Back, Back...to Culver Days". Culver Alumni. November 2017. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  46. ^ @robmenendez4nj (June 20, 2022). "I might be running for Congress, but I already have the best job I could ever hope for: Being Olivia's dad. #FathersDay" (Tweet). Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Twitter.
  47. ^ @robmenendez4nj (October 3, 2022). "Last month we became a family of 4 with the arrival of our son, Robert Alexander. Thankful everyone is doing well and appreciative of all of our family + friends who have been so supportive of our growing family (while dealing with a slightly sleep deprived candidate)" (Tweet). Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Twitter.