HOBOKEN, New Jersey, (Diya TV) — In a closely watched race, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla faced off against incumbent Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City) in the Democratic primary for New Jersey’s 8th congressional district. Millions were spent by each campaign and ultimately Menendez emerged victorious, securing a win that solidifies his position in the district’s political landscape.

Bhalla, who is one of the first Sikh mayors in the United States, campaigned on a platform centered around reform. He criticized Menendez’s political lineage, particularly highlighting the recent federal corruption charges against Menendez’s father, Senator Bob Menendez. Bhalla argued that New Jersey needed to break free from the influence of the Menendez family dynasty and embrace a new era of politics.

Despite Bhalla’s strong support in areas like Jersey City and Hoboken, Menendez established a commanding lead in key districts such as Newark and Elizabeth. The New Jersey Monitor noted that Menendez’s victory was decisive, reflecting his established foothold and broader appeal within the district.

Menendez, at 38-years-old, first secured his congressional seat in 2022, leveraging his position as a Port Authority commissioner and the network built by his father. However, the shadow of his father’s legal troubles, particularly the bribery charges, cast a cloud over Menendez’s campaign and made his family connections a focal point of contention.

Financially, the race was a battleground, with both candidates pouring significant resources into their campaigns. Bhalla spent approximately $1.6 million, while Menendez invested $1.3 million by mid-May. Additionally, independent expenditure groups injected substantial funds into the race, with over $1.8 million flowing into the district. Notably, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s BOLD PAC played a significant role, aiming to uphold Hispanic representation in New Jersey’s congressional delegation.