One month away from their pivotal election for a U.S. Senate seat, incumbent Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and challenger Bob Hugin both looked to flex their political muscle at the Hispanic Day Parade earlier today.
Menendez, who had his own float for the occasion, walked from North Bergen to Union City with North Hudson mainstays such as U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8), state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack, West New York Mayor Felix Roque, Guttenberg Mayor Wayne Zitt, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, among many others.
Additionally, Gov. Phil Murphy, another strong supporter of Menendez, made the trek from Drumthwacket to North Bergen for the festivities.
However, Hugin, equipped with dozens of his own supporters and his own float to boot, showed no fear with locking horns with his upcoming opponent.
“Momentum is powerful: everyday we’re seeing more Democrats endorse me, Independents, Republicans, coming together to recognize that the people of New Jersey can do so much better than what we’re getting from Washington,” Hugin told Hudson County View.
” … We’re gonna have so much opportunity to do things so much better: 25 years of failed leadership, it’s time for change,” he added with a smile.
In recent weeks, Menendez and Hugin traded blows over whether or not Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
At first, Menendez was sharply critical over the fact that Hugin would not express whether or not he supported Kavanaugh, and after the latter said that he felt the judge was qualified to sit on the Supreme Court, the incumbent was quick to respond.
“Bob Hugin refused to stand up for sexual assault survivors then, and clearly doesn’t #BelieveSurvivors now with his support of Brett Kavanaugh,” he tweeted yesterday.
With Kavanaugh being appointed by the U.S. Senate yesterday, Hugin was asked to reflect on the whole ordeal.
“I think the whole process was embarrassing to everybody: embarrassing to Democrats, embarrassing to Republicans, embarrassing to our country. We can never let this happen again,” Hugin began.
“Hopefully we can put this behind us and move forward in a way to work together, not be fighting people for partisan reasons: we need to do things so much better for our country.”
Menendez, who for months has been blistered with ads about his corruption trial that ended in a hung jury last year, has recently been turning up the heat on Hugin, a former CEO at pharmaceutical giant Celgene.
“From ripping off Medicare and stockpiling cash overseas, to blocking generic drugs and charging hundreds of dollars for a pill that costs pennies to make, we are all paying the price for Bob Hugin’s greed. We are all paying the #HuginCancerTax,” Menendez posted on social media, linking to a new website hitting Hugin on the price of cancer drugs during his time at Celgene.
Not to be outdone, Hugin recently launched BadBobMenendez.com, which includes an in-depth “corruption timeline” that dates back to when Menendez testified against Union City Mayor Bill Musto in 1982.
“I’m proud of New Jersey, it’s a great state, but Senator Menendez has embarrassed us: he violated federal law, abused the power of his office, his best friend, convicted of 67 felonies, committing Medicare fraud, and he’s done so little for us in Washington – We’re in last place,” Hugin concluded.
” … The people of New Jersey deserve better and we’re going to give them better, starting on November 6th.”
Polling from several major universities released this week has Hugin anywhere between two and 11 percentage points of Menendez, making it an uncharacteristically competitive affair in a state where a Republican hasn’t won a senate seat since 1972.