There will be live C-Span coverage of Rep. Robert Menendez’s senatorial inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 10:30 a.m. in Washington D.C., as he replaces New Jersey Governor-Elect Jon Corzine in the Senate.
Menendez, a former mayor of Union City, will be given the oath by Vice President Dick Cheney, who also serves as president of the Senate.
Menendez will be accompanied on this momentous occasion by a slew of New Jersey’s state representatives, including his peers from Hudson County.
Among the crew that plans to visit will be Assembly Speaker (and West New York Mayor) Albio Sires, Assemblyman Brian Stack, Mayor Richard Turner of Weehawken, and State Sen. Bernard Kenny.
“Congressman Menendez’s appointment to the United States Senate brings tremendous pride to all Hudson County residents, especially those of Union City,” said Stack, who is mayor of Union City. “He had achieved his prominence as a public servant through his commitment and dedication to the residents of the 13th Congressional District. Undoubtedly, he will continue to make an impact on state and federal policies.”
Menendez, who has served as representative of the 13th District for seven terms, first began his political career in Hudson County. He served on the Union City Board of Education starting at the age of 19, then was mayor of Union City from 1986 to 1992.
A ‘series’ of successors
Once Menendez has ascended to the Senate next Wednesday, all eyes will be on Sires, who has expressed interest in filling Menendez’s seat in the U.S. Congress.
Although Sires has expressed his interest in assuming to the position, he has refused to make any formal statements as to his intentions until the seat is officially vacant. And the seat in the state’s 13th District will remain vacant until the next election in November, because New Jersey has no legal procedure to appoint a replacement. In the meantime, the clerk of the House of Representatives will run the congressional office.
If Sires does in fact take the position, there will be a vacancy in the mayoral seat of West New York. Among rumored favorites for the position is West New York Commissioner Silverio “Sal” Vega, who also serves on the Hudson County Board of Freeholders representing the 6th District and is board chair.
It was just over a week ago that Vega retook the oath office for the Board of Freeholders, and has not confirmed nor denied interest in the position.
The only moment of insecurity Menendez might have faced as to his future in the Senate was put to rest last week.
According to a published report, on Tuesday, Jan. 10, Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg dismissed the claims of a lawsuit brought forth by two Princeton activists, who challenged Gov.-Elect Corzine’s right to pick his successor to the Senate. Feinberg said that the law clearly reaffirmed the governor’s right to appoint someone until the next election.
Corzine is slated to take the oath of office this Tuesday.
Throughout the weeks prior to the ceremony, Menendez has busied himself meeting residents and representatives all over the state about issues they would like him to address.
“Congressman Menendez’s record in the United States House of Representatives speaks volumes of his understanding of issues that impact working families, immigrants, and the elderly, just to name a few,” said Stack. “His success is a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work, determination, and set goals. On behalf of the commissioners and myself, I extend our most sincere congratulations to Rep. Menendez.”
Menendez’s inauguration will be televised live by C-Span 2 at 10:30 a.m.