Politics

Democratic City Councilman Ditches Menendez, Picks Republican In New Jersey Senate Race

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s conduct prompted a New Jersey Democratic city councilman to leave the party and support Menendez’s Republican opponent.

“I’m endorsing [Hugin] to restore the honesty and integrity to the office,” Jim Fozman told the Brick Shorebeat. “We strongly believe in protecting our environment on issues like solar and wind, and opposing offshore drilling.”

Fozman announced his switch to the Republican party at a city council meeting Tuesday, reported the Shorebeat.

Fozman was elected in 2011 to the city council of Brick Township, a Jersey Shore municipality with more than 75,000 residents. His switch comes as a Quinnipiac poll published Aug. 22 shows Bob Hugin is closing in on Mendendez for Senate. The Republican has narrowed Menendez’s lead to six points compared to Menendez’s 17-point lead in March.

Nearly 40 percent of New Jersey Democrats do not support Menendez, causing the Democratic party to spending “$117,000 for ads in recent weeks,” reported Fox News.

Menendez’s campaign is vulnerable after he narrowly escaped conviction for corruption in 2017. If Menendez beats Hugin in November and Democrats gain a Senate majority, Menendez might move up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to become chair. (RELATED: Bob Menendez’s Campaign Chief Is A Lobbyist For Qatar)

Hugin is the executive chair of pharmaceutical company Celgene and has been funding much of his campaign with his own wealth.

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