‘Bridgegate’ Mayor Attending State of the Union Address

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich is an invited guest of Congressman Bill Pascrell

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The mayor who helped spark the traffic controversy surrounding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected to attend the State of the Union address Tuesday.

Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee, N.J. will be a guest of Democratic congressman Bill Pascrell, the Bergen Record reports. Pascrell said that even though he admired Mayor Sokolich’s response to the George Washington Bridge debacle, it wasn’t why he invited Sokolich.

“He did exhibit a standup attitude [on the bridge issue] which I’ve grown to like and I can’t say I kept that out of my mind because that’s not the truth, but it’s not the reason he was selected,” Pascrell told the Bergen Record. Mayor Sokolich was reportedly invited because the Congressman wanted to extend the offer to someone from Bergen after taking a Paterson, NJ resident to the address in 2013. Both cities are in the Congressman’s congressional district.

Sokolich told the Bergen Record in September he felt the closure of two of three lanes on the George Washington Bridge was meant as a political message. Emails later obtained by the Record showed a Port Authority employee appointed by the governor ordered the closures. Two aides involved in the closures have since been fired and Gov. Christie has apologized to Mayor Sokolich.

[Bergen Record]