Tags: bob menendez | latinos | support | indictment | new jersey

Latinos Warmly Embrace Sen. Bob Menendez Despite Indictment

Image: Latinos Warmly Embrace Sen. Bob Menendez Despite Indictment
(Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Monday, 11 May 2015 12:37 PM

Facing a 14-count federal indictment, Bob Menendez has seen support grow among Latino power brokers who have stepped up to donate to his legal fund and to attest to the New Jersey senator's integrity, Politico reports.

Bill Richardson, former New Mexico governor and energy secretary, is among Menendez's growing list of allies who have given him money to fight the government's corruption charges and have spoken out about their friendship, Politico said.

"I told him I wanted to stand behind him," Richardson told Politico of their longstanding connection, dating back to their days as "back-bench Latinos in the House."

"I stand behind Bob Menendez's integrity, his word, his values," said Richardson, who has given Menendez's legal defense fund $5,000 and plans to raise more.

Aides say Menendez is not actively seeking the Latino community's support. But his allies are banging the drum to try to help him out as the longtime Democratic lawmaker faces serious charges, handed down on April 1, that could land him in prison.

Among his supporters are the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which has sought out the state's other senator, Cory Booker, to ask for his help as well, Politico said.

Menendez has also been honored recently by Latino groups, including earning the distinguished Cuban-American of the year award at the upcoming Cuban Day Parade in North Bergen, New Jersey, and receiving an award from La Casa de Don Pedro in Newark, New Jersey, for his immigration reform efforts about two weeks after his indictment, Politico said.

"When he was the only … Hispanic senator, he would get issues from California to Texas that had very little to do with New Jersey, and he would repeatedly step up for the Latino community," Javier Palomarez, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, told Politico.

"Because of that record, we are stepping up and saying, 'Listen. We can talk about the Bob Menendez we know.'"

Melendez's legal defense fund has grown to nearly $1.3 million, Fox News reported in mid-April.

An April poll from Quinnipiac University found that a majority of New Jersey voters — 52 percent — want Melendez to resign from his Senate seat, Politico reported, adding that his detractors and supporters break down along party lines.

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Facing a 14-count federal indictment, Sen. Bob Menendez has seen support grow among Latino power brokers who have stepped up to donate to his legal fund and to attest to the New Jersey Democrat's integrity, Politico reports.
bob menendez, latinos, support, indictment, new jersey
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2015-37-11
Monday, 11 May 2015 12:37 PM
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