Mukherji announces candidacy for new Senate seat

Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) said today he will run for Senate in the 32nd District in 2023, an announcement that was immediately followed by endorsements from Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, State Sen. Brian Stack (D-Union City) and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

“The goal of securing a brighter future for my baby boy, Leo, and my baby girl, Liana, has strengthened my resolve to keep fighting for our state,” Mukherji said in a statement. “I therefore humbly ask the people of Jersey City and Hoboken to send me back to the legislature, this time to the Senate.”

Mukherji, a Marine Corps veteran and former deputy mayor of Jersey City, was first elected in 2013 from the 33rd District, which is currently represented by Stack in the Senate. At just 37, Mukherji is the chairman of the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee and has been considered a potential presidential candidate.

But Hudson County’s explosive population growth meant that its legislative districts had to be significantly remodeled for the next decade’s legislative map, and the end result was that Stack’s hometown of Union City was moved to State Sen. Nicholas Sacco’s district (D-North Bergen), leaving the new 32nd District (which is essentially the successor to the old 33rd) with an open Senate seat.

The district, which is made up entirely of Hoboken and North Jersey City, has a white plurality but includes the second-largest Asian American population of any district in the new map, at 32%. If Mukherji is elected, he would likely be one of only two Asian Americans in the Senate, alongside State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch).

And the endorsements of Fulop, Stack and Bhalla, three of the most prominent figures in the district, make Mukherji the prohibitive favorite in the Democratic primary; the seat is safely Democratic in the general election.

“For the past eight years, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji has been a tenacious fighter for Hudson County,” Stack said. “I proudly support him for the State Senate, and we will work day and night for Raj to ensure our neighbors continue to be well represented in the new district.”

Mukherji’s campaign means he will leave behind a newly opened Assembly seat, one that will likely go to a Jersey City candidate to counter Assembly Annette Chaparro (D-Hoboken).

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