Democratic New Jersey Rep. Albio Sires will retire in 2023, he confirmed in an interview Monday.
“I’ve been in Congress 16 years and politics over 30 years and I just think it’s time to step down. The traveling gets to me and I’m going to make a formal announcement in January,” Sires told the Hudson County View. His retirement was first reported Sunday by the New Jersey Globe.
Sires is endorsing Rob Menendez, Jr., the son of Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, to fill his seat.
“I can’t think of a better candidate than Rob. He is smart, he is likable. He is the son of the senator which will help the district a great deal: I just think there isn’t a better candidate out there,” Sires said.
Congressman Sires on Rob Menendez, Jr.: ‘I just think there isn’t a better candidate out there’https://t.co/J07bJ3ad4y
— Hudson County View (@HudsonCoView) December 20, 2021
Sires’ seat, which he won by 46 points in 2020, is expected to remain in Democratic hands. A 13-member commission controls the redistricting process in New Jersey, with six members appointed by Democrats, six by Republicans, and a tiebreaker by the state Supreme Court.
Sires is the 21st House Democrat to retire ahead of the midterms. Like Sires, many of the retirees hold safe seats, but do not want to serve in a potential House minority. Recent data has shown that voters prefer generic Republican candidates to generic Democrats, with one November poll finding Republicans with a ten point lead. (RELATED: POLL: 78% Of Capitol Hill Staffers Believe GOP Will Take Back The House In 2022)
A refugee from the communist revolution in Cuba, Sires is the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade and active on foreign policy issues. He criticized President Barack Obama’s 2016 visit to Cuba and called on President Donald Trump to cancel a 2018 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.