U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez Is the Projected Winner in New Jersey, Holding Off Wealthy Republican Challenger Bob Hugin to Win Another Term

What to Know

  • Corruption charges against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez were dropped after a mistrial.
  • Challenger Bob Hugin used that trial to his advantage, casting Menendez as untrustworthy.
  • Menendez used Hugin's alliance with President Trump to sway voters against the Republican.

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez is the projected winner of a third term in New Jersey, according to NBC News, holding off a wealthy Republican challenger and millions in attack ads that highlighted former allegations of corruption.

Menendez, 64, trusted heavily on a nearly 900,000-voter advantage that Democrats have over Republicans in the Garden State. A Republican has not been elected to the Senate from New Jersey since the 1970s.

Bob Hugin, a former pharmaceutical executive, could spend his way to the seat. He spent about $30 million in his bid, much of it coming from himself.

He did make Democrats nationally sweat through a closer than usual race. The race closed to single digits in polls as Election Day neared.

Menendez eventually spent on his own attacks, painting Hugin as a reliable ally of President Donald Trump.

Some New Jersey voters said that distrinction drove their votes on Tuesday. 

Among them was 57-year-old Connie Stoerk, an engineer who lives in suburban Parsippany-Troy Hills. Stoerk said the votes she cast for Democratic candidates were a direct response to Trump.

Stoerk said Trump's actions and rhetoric have created "so much bad tension" that people feel they can't talk about politics with friends and co-workers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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