The essay examines three key representatives of New Jersey in the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. For the U.S. Senate, the essay evaluates Senior Senator Robert “Bob” Menendez and Junior Senator Cory Booker. and for the U.S. Congressional representative of New Jersey’s 9th District, Bill Pascrell Jr. The paper concludes with the most interested representative informed on research and key policies and ideologies they represent.
Senior Senator for New Jersey: Robert “Bob” Menendez
Robert Menendez is the Senior Senator of the State of New Jersey. Menendez was born on January 1, 1954, in New York City is a Cuban descent born to Cuban immigrants to the United States. His professional career began in the political sphere, whereby he was voted to the Union City Board of Education in 1974, aged 20. He became the youngest ever to be elected into the position. Menendez has a massive political career in which he later was voted in as the Mayor of Union City in 1986. In 1988 still serving as mayor, Menendez was elected as the representative of the State’s 33rd District to join the General Assembly of New Jersey. After three years, Menendez rose to join the New Jersey State Senate following the special election of the 33rd Senate District in 1991 (C-SPAN.Org, 2020). From 1993 to 2006, he served six two-year terms as the House of Representatives in the U.S. Congress. In 2006, he was appointed by Govern of New Jersey Jon Corzine to the U.S. Senate after the seat fell vacant. In 2012 and 2018, he was elected to serve a full six-year term respective with the next elections in 2024. Menendez is a Democratic Party member. Thus, Menendez has vast political experience, having served in several committees and subcommittees, including the Committee of Foreign Relations as the ranking member.
Menendez was married to Jane Jacobsen in 1976 and divorced in 2005. He has two siblings, including one stepdaughter. He has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Saint Peter’s University and Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) from Rutgers University, Newark. According to the Gov. Track report card, Menendez ranks as a key cosponsor of bills in the U.S. Senate, having cosponsored over 984 bills and resolutions as of 2019 (Gov. Track, 2020).
In the last election for Menendez in 2018, he won the party primaries against Lisa McCormick with 262,477 votes (62.3 percent) against 158,998 votes (37.7 percent), respectively. In the U.S. Senate elections, Menendez won against the second top candidate Bob Hugin a Republican after managing to gunner 1,711, 654 votes (54.01 percent) against 1,375,355 votes (42.83 percent) respectively (Corasaniti, 2018).
Menendez’s key policies include immigration reforms and education. In the immigration reforms, himself being a son of Cuban immigrants is a major proponent and advocate for human rights as part of immigration reforms. In 2011, Menendez introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act that has sweeping overhaul effects on the U.S. Immigration System (C-SPAN.Org, 2020). In the education policies, Menendez sponsored two key bills – the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2011. These resonate well with his ideologies as a Democrat and liberal as he is a key proposer of LGBT policies, civil rights, gun policy, and healthcare.
Junior Senator for New Jersey: Cory Anthony Booker
Booker is a Junior U.S. Senator of N.J. since 2013. Booker serves as the first African-American to win the U.S. Senate seat in N.J. He has a professional career as an attorney. Also, he is an author and a Democratic Party member. Booker was born in 1969 in Washington, D.C., but grew up in Harrington Park in N.J. He has served as an executive at IBM. Following the completion of the law school, Booker served as a staff attorney for the Urban Justice Center in New York.
His political life began when he won an upset victory for the Municipal Council of Newark seat in 1998 that saw him defeat a four-term incumbent George Branch. In 2002, Booker won the position of the Mayor of Newark, a position he defended and won in 2006 and 2010. In the 2013 special election to the U.S. Senate, Booker became the first African-American person to serve as a U.S. Senator for N.J. (A.P./The Huffington Post, 2013; CNN Editorial Research, 2020) In 2014, Booker won the U.S. Senate election by 1,043,866 votes (55.8 percent) against the second top candidate Jeff Bell a Republic who attained 791,297 votes (42.3 percent) (The New York Times, 2014). Booker has an extensive political career whereby he has served in the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, among others, Committee on the Judiciary; Environment and Public Works, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
The educational background of Booker shows that he has a Master of Arts (M.A.) and a B.A. from Stanford University (CNN Editorial Research, 2020). Also, Booker has a Masters of Arts from The Queen’s College, Oxford, and J.D. from Yale University. In respect to being married, Booker has never been married.
Booker’s key policies that he has pursued comprises of employment and marriage acts. In 2013, he cosponsored and voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and in 2014 he cosponsored Respect for Marriage Act (Gov. Track, 2020). Among the notable points of his leadership and political life was the voting against the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013. This creates a conflict with the ideological ideals he represents.
Representative for New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District: Bill Pascrell Jr.
Willaim James Pascrell Jr., popularly known as Bill Pascrell Jr., was born on January 25, 1937 – aged 83. He was born in Paterson, N.J. and is a grandson of Italian immigrants. Pascrell’s political life began following his election to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1987. As a member of N.J. General Assembly from the 35th District, Pascrell Jr. served in the position from 1988-1997. In 1990, he was elected the Mayor of Paterson, a position he served up to 1997 (Bill Pascrell, 2020).
In January 1997, Pascrell was elected as the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 8th District, a position he served up to 2013. In 2013 to present, Pascrell was elected to represent New Jersey’s 9th District in the U.S. Congress. Pascrell Jr. is a Democratic Party member (The Washington Post). In 2018 he won the U.S. Congress for the 9th District of N.J. by 140,832 votes (70.3 percent) against the second top candidate Eric P. Fisher a Republican’s 57,854 votes (28.9 percent). The election margin and votes by Pascrell have been impressive having won 2016 elections by 162,642 votes (69 percent), 2014 elections by 82,498 votes (68 percent), and 2012 elections by 162,822 (73 percent) (Hubbard & Staff, 2018). This makes, Pascrell political experience to be massive across different levels of the United States leadership.
Pascrell Jr. is married to Elsie Botto since 1962 and has three children. He has a B.A. and an M.A. from Fordham University. Key policies advocated for by Pascrell Jr. comprise of security and safety of the American people and law enforcement (Gov. Track, 2020). He is one of the original members of the Homeland Security Committee and served as a ranking member of the Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee. The key policies presented by Pascrell Jr. do not effectively resonate with his ideologies as a Democrat.
The representative found most interesting in the paper is Senator Bob Menendez. At 66, Menendez has advocated for key issues and policy reforms, including immigration, education, agriculture, environment, disaster relief, LGBT, gun policy, and healthcare. The policies appear to be in line with liberal and democratic ideologies that fight for the poor. The diversity of work experience and contributions made since he was 20 presents him as an ideal representative that has taken critical policies that affects citizens across the U.S. For example, gun policy, LGBT, immigration, health, and education cut across all Americans are integral to the livelihood of the people. Thus, I find him to be efficient in his ideals and what he pursues the public interests.
A.P./The Huffington Post. (October 17, 2013). New Jersey Election Results: Cory Booker Wins Special Election for Senate. HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/new-jersey-election-results_n_4102237
Bill Pascrell. (2020). Biography. Bill Pascrell 9th District of New Jersey. https://pascrell.house.gov/about/
CNN Editorial Research. (March 24, 2020). Cory Booker Fast Facts. CNN Politics. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/14/us/cory-booker-fast-facts/index.html
Corasaniti, N. (November 6, 2018). Bob Menendez Wins Senate Race in N.J., Beating Back a Challenge from Hugin. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/06/nyregion/bob-menendez-wins-nj-senate.html
C-SPAN.Org. (2020). Bob Menendez. National Cable Satellite Corporation. https://www.c-span.org/person/?robertmenendez
Gov. Track. (January 18, 2020). Sen. Cory Booker’s 2019 Report Card. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/cory_booker/412598/report-card/2019
Gov. Track. (January 18, 2020). Sen. Robert “Bob” Menendez’s 2019 Report Card. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/robert_menendez/400272/report-card/2019
Gov. Track. (January 6, 2018). Sen. Robert “Bob” Menendez’s 2017 Report Card. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/robert_menendez/400272/report-card/2017
Hubbard, D. & Staff, P. (November 6, 2018). Pascrell Declared Winner in Landslide in N.J.’s 9th District. Patch. https://patch.com/new-jersey/englewood/real-time-results-rep-njs-9th-dist-pascrell-vs-fisher
The New York Times. (December 17, 2014). New Jersey Election Results. https://www.nytimes.com/elections/2014/new-jersey-elections
The Washington Post. Rep. Bill Pascrell Wins New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District Seat. https://www.washingtonpost.com/election-results/new-jersey-9th-congressional-district/