Robert Menendez, Jr., son of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez attends an event kicking off his father’s campaign for reelection in 2018, in Union City, N.J. | Julio Cortez/AP Photo
A Menendez dynasty could be in offing in New Jersey.
Longtime Rep. Albio Sires (D-N.J.) plans to retire next year and Robert Menendez Jr., the son of the state’s senior senator, is already amassing support to replace the congressman in New Jersey’s heavily Democratic 8th Congressional District, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Sires, 70, will retire at the end of his current term in January 2023, after serving in Congress since January 2006. Sires was tapped by Democrats to fill the House seat held for years by Menendez Sr., who ascended to the Senate that year.
Numerous sources said Menendez Sr. has reached out to Democrats to gauge their interest in his son’s candidacy.
The Cuban-born Sires is a former mayor of West New York and speaker of the General Assembly who was a Republican for much of the 1980s and 1990s. In Congress, Sires, like Menendez Sr. — who’s also of Cuban heritage but was born in the U.S. — has been a vocal critic of the Castro regime. Sires also chairs the House Foreign Affairs western hemisphere subcommittee.
Sires’ district in northern New Jersey is dominated by urban Hudson County but also also includes the city of Elizabeth in Union County, part of Newark and town of Belleville in Essex County and Fairview in Bergen County.
Though Hudson County insiders have said a number of local officials expressed an interest in running for Sires’ seat, Menendez Jr. has the support of a key local power broker: Union City Mayor and state Sen. Brian Stack, who runs a vaunted turnout machine in his Hudson County city.
“I got to know him over just the last couple of years, and he’s a bright guy. I think he’s got the energy, I think he’s a sensible individual. I think he’ll do a good job as our congressman,” Stack said in a phone interview Monday. “It can’t hurt that he’s got the help from his dad, but he’s really his own person.”
Sires, in an interview with Hudson County View on Monday, also expressed support for the younger Menendez to succeed him
Neither Sires nor Menendez Sr. immediately returned a request for comment from POLITICO. Sires confirmed his retirement — which was first reported by New Jersey Globe — to Hudson County View.
Menendez Jr., an attorney who has never run for public office, recently stepped up his political involvement. As his father feuded with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, whom he perceived as …….