Gov. Phil Murphy said on April 15 he’s nominating the son of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat; and a Cliffside Park and Hudson County official to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Murphy is looking to have Menendez Jr., who’s also counsel at the law firm Lowenstein Sandler, named to join Cliffside Park Councilwoman Dana Martinotti and Hudson County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Michelle Richardson to the board.
Murphy also re-nominated Gov. Chris Christie’s pick to the board, Middlesex County powerbroker and former union head Kevin McCabe, who was named to NJBIZ’s 2021 Power 100. McCabe joined the board in 2017 and currently heads public affairs at the influential Trenton consulting firm River Crossing Strategy Group.
The bi-state Port Authority agency wields an annual budget larger than some states – $7.3 billion – and controls the Hudson River crossings and the major airports in the New York City metropolitan area, including Newark Liberty International Airport Stations.
All four nominees require state Senate approval, and if confirmed would replace existing commissioners David Steiner and Richard Bagger.
Their confirmations could come at a time when the agency faces collapsing revenue, as much as $1.7 billion, amid COVID-19 travel declines from losses in air travel and use of bridges, tunnels and PATH trains. The organization’s budget comes from tolls, fares and fees at its facilities.
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that President Joe Biden signed last month earmarks $164 million in federal relief for Newark Airport.