Rob Menendez Defeats Ravi Bhalla in NJ Primary Battle

Written on 06/04/2024
Asia91 Team

Hoboken, N.J. - In a highly anticipated and fiercely contested race, incumbent Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City) defeated Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla in the Democratic primary for New Jersey’s 8th congressional district. With millions spent by each campaign, Menendez’s victory solidifies his political stronghold in the district.


Ravi Bhalla, one of the first Sikh mayors in the United States, campaigned on a reform-focused platform, challenging Menendez’s political lineage. Bhalla highlighted the recent federal corruption charges against Menendez’s father, Senator Bob Menendez, arguing that New Jersey needed to break free from the Menendez family’s influence and embrace a new political era.


Despite Bhalla’s strong support in areas like Jersey City and Hoboken, Menendez dominated key districts such as Newark and Elizabeth. According to the New Jersey Monitor, Menendez’s decisive victory reflected his established foothold and broader appeal within the district.


Menendez, 38, 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, including bribery charges, made his family connections a focal point of the campaign.


Financially, the race was intense, with both candidates pouring significant resources into their campaigns. Bhalla spent approximately $1.6 million, while Menendez invested $1.3 million by mid-May. Independent expenditure groups also injected substantial funds, 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.



  • Menendez’s Victory: Secured despite the shadow of his father’s legal troubles
  • Bhalla’s Reform Platform: Challenged the Menendez family’s political influence
  • Financial Battle: Over $1.8 million from independent expenditure groups
  • District Dynamics: Strong support in Newark and Elizabeth secured Menendez’s win


Menendez’s victory reinforces his political stronghold in New Jersey’s 8th congressional district, despite the controversy surrounding his family.

The decisive win for Menendez highlights his broader appeal and established political foothold, setting the stage for his continued influence in the district.