Joe Signorello, the mayor of Roselle Park, chose to enter hostile territory on Saturday by attending a fundraiser in Jersey City for progressive challengers in the Hudson County elections. Signorello is eyeing a battle with U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in June.
From Hudson County View’s John Heinis
I’ve only observed Hudson County politics from Union County’s outside. In an interview, Signorello remarked, “As a Democrat, I don’t really understand how the Hudson County Democrats work; from what I hear, it’s not the most transparent method to get the party line here.
In order to A. try to change that and B. organize in response to that, I wanted to know what the opposing party is doing.
Despite Roselle Park being a red municipality at the time of his election, Signorello won his current position in 2018 and was re-elected the following year, thus he is no stranger to uphill struggles.
He ran for the 21st Legislative District against Republican state Senator Jon Bramnick in 2021 but lost by a score of around 46.4 to 53.6.
In light of this, despite the fact that there is a current US Department of Justice investigation, unseating the senior senator from New Jersey remains a very difficult task.
Signorello acknowledged that Hudson will be very impossible to defeat off the bat, but he suggested that forming partnerships with the party’s progressive wing could help close the gap.
He continued, “I don’t expect receiving the Democrats’ support in Hudson County, but I’m going to try – at least the typical Democratic organization – but look, Bob Menendez, he won by a lot in Hudson County and by a lot in Essex County six years ago.
“He didn’t win and lost in a lot of other counties. I believe that if I’m going to achieve this, Hudson County needs to have a significant role in it. A grassroots movement is what these people are here creating.
He was also realistic about the difficulty of obtaining institutional support against Menendez in Hudson and elsewhere, but he did not believe that this to be an insurmountable obstacle.
“… Power that is absolute corrupts it equally everywhere. Look, a lot of people in New Jersey are dissatisfied with the way things are going, despite the fact that he is Hudson’s favorite son.
Menendez, a former mayor of Union City, state assemblyman, and congressman, has demonstrated his tenacity by successfully defending himself against federal corruption allegations in 2018 involving accepting gifts and flights from friend and benefactor Solomon Melgen.
The Senate Ethics Committee censured the senator as a result of the case’s hung jury verdict.
Signorello gave the impression that he wouldn’t be spooked by other “big name” Democrats entering the fray in the event that he faces another indictment as the DOJ investigates his relationship to a halal food company based in Edgewater that is the sole certifier for meat products exported to Egypt.
In addition, he added, “I would say that any of those Democrats that want to be engaged this time around, I’d really question where they’ve been the past six years while this stuff was going on all over.
So, possibly, I’m not the only one who thinks Bob Menendez is weak, but I’m going to fight for this election because I think I’d make a great senator, not just because I think Bob Menendez is poor.
In terms of policy, he spoke out against the $10.6 billion New Jersey Turnpike expansion plan that Governor Phil Murphy supports (D).
We need to discuss what makes sense for this dense area as a whole as northern New Jersey becomes denser and denser. The mayor said, “I don’t think any of our representatives have actually given that much attention.
And I believe that Hudson County citizens were actually considered secondarily. I assume you have in mind, among other things, the Turnpike expansion with Hudson County. In order to reduce the number of cars on the road, I’d much prefer see that money used to increase bus and [Hudson-Bergen] Light Rail services, than to double the size of a roadway.
In response to a question on whether he considered himself a progressive Democrat, he declared his support for Medicare for All and added that college should be “far more supported than it is.”
He continued, “I think I could be a pretty effective translator of what the progressive goals are and how the real world could work here in New Jersey and America.
Signorello is actually the second Democrat, after drug and alcohol counselor Christina Khalil, to declare her intention to run against Menendez in the June 2024 primary.