The Hudson County Play – if it Comes to that

500 people turned out in support of the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO), which featured special guest Democratic State Party Chairman John Currie.

Politically imperiled by his father’s troubles, U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez could end up as collateral damage, especially in the event of intensified establishment dealmaking around the offices of U.S. Senate and governor.

If Mikie Sherrill and Josh Gottheimer remain the establishment favorites for those offices (with who getting what still up in the air, as long as Senator Bob Menendez remains in power, albeit in an enfeebled condition), the 8th District Congressional seat could offer another perch to a relevant aspirational pol, and another play for bosses running out of supposedly powerful bodies.

No one’s seeking that congressional seat right now, to be clear (other than the young Menendez), and the elder Menendez remains innocent until proved guilty.

As of right now, he remains the U.S. Senator, as Democrats try to absorb the news and the NJGOP demands his resignation.

But if he cannot survive, his ill fortunes may boomerang on his son.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop – already an announced candidate for governor and zeroed in on the statewide seat, and to be clear, absolutely not seeking the congressional seat and not interested – remains a player out there who could give the establishment fits with an off-the-line statewide run.

One source suggested trying to entice Fulop away from governor by offloading the younger Menendez and giving the Jersey City mayor a crack at congress.

It’s a reach, to be sure, and one that Fulop would likely have no interest in, but a play nonetheless, for a Menendez desperate establishment looking for ways to extend a suddenly crippled party runway.

It’s not a play right now.

But could be.

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