Senator Menendez was born on New Year's Day in New York City to Cuban immigrants who left their homeland a few months earlier, in 1953, seeking economic and political freedom from the repressive government headed by Fulgencio Batista. His father, Mario, was a mechanic and his mother, Evangelina, a seamstress. The family subsequently moved to neighboring New Jersey. In 2006, Sen. Menendez was appointed to the United States Senate. Prior to his appointment, Menendez was a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing New Jersey's 13th congressional district. He previously served as Mayor of Union City (1986-1992) and as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly and the New Jersey Senate.
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