Bob Menendez and Bob Hugin

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Battle Of The Bobs: New Jersey Senate Race Remains A Toss-Up

October 29, 2018 - 3:06 pm

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- The New Jersey senate race is becoming one of the most closely watched races in the country.

New Jersey, a state which has not elected a Republican to represent it in the U.S. Senate since 1972, is closer than ever to breaking that streak as voters ponder replacing two-term Democratic incumbent Bob Menendez with GOP newcomer Bob Hugin.

“Are we gonna elect corrupt people who are also effected in serving the people they're supposed to serve continue to be re-elected doing so little for the people? I've never seen an example where a politician has taken more and given less to the people they're paid to serve,” Hugin told WCBS 880.

Hugin was quick to remind voters that Menendez spent much of his second Senate term battling back federal corruption charges in a case that featured claims of political favors, luxury trips and sexual misconduct.

“I understand that there are some in our state who are disappointed and I deeply apologize to them. But the reality is I say look at my work and my fights on your behalf, and look at the totality of my advocacy and my votes,” Menendez said of his mistakes.

Menendez said in an interview with WCBS 880 that a vote for Hugin is a vote for President Donald Trump, who the Democrat says has assaulted New Jersey since being elected to office in 2016.

GOP challenger Hugin, a former Marine, amassed a fortune as a pharmaceutical executive and has marketed himself as a moderate Republican.

Menendez has frequently attacked Hugin for serving as the chairman of Trump’s New Jersey campaign in 2016.

“I'm a leader in everything I've done. I'm not a follower. I'm gonna do what's best for the people of New Jersey,” Hugin told WCBS 880.

Despite the controversy surrounding his re-election, Menendez held a 5-point lead over Hugin in a new Emerson College poll released Sunday.

Seven percent of voters remained undecided, but many revealed an animosity towards GOP leaders.

Menendez has served as a senator for New Jersey since 2006, but Hugin says the state deserves better.

“Washington needs honor and integrity,” Hugin said. “I've lived my life with honor and integrity. It's time for people to go to Washington who are committed to putting people first, over party in politics.”