For the primary time since 1972, New Jersey Republicans discover themselves with an actual likelihood to elect a US senator — and rightly so, since incumbent Bob Menendez stands uncovered as blatantly corrupt. Which is why The Publish is blissful to endorses GOP challenger Bob Hugin.
Hugin in all probability wouldn’t stand a lot likelihood in deep-blue Jersey. However Menendez has richly earned his huge unpopularity with Backyard State voters.
Hugin guarantees New Jersey “a senator we will be pleased with.” And Menendez is something however that — merely put, he’s a humiliation.
Though his trial for corruption ended with a hung jury, nobody denies that Menendez obtained lavish presents — free holidays, watches and $600,000 in marketing campaign donations — from Solomon Melgen, a rich eye physician.
Simply as nobody denies that he intervened with federal companies on behalf of Melgen (later convicted in a $73 million Medicare fraud scheme), together with acquiring visas for the physician’s “girlfriends” from Brazil, Ukraine and the Dominican Republic.
A Supreme Court docket ruling raised the bar excessive for public corruption convictions, and prosecutors have been unable to show an precise quid professional quo. However the Senate Ethics Committee severely admonished Menendez, saying he’d damaged the legislation.
Little surprise that Jerseyans appear to have reached their very own verdict on Menendez — with polls displaying greater than half of them saying ethics is the main issue deciding their vote.
On the problems, Menendez is a cookie-cutter Democrat, with one key exception: He’s been a number one supporter of Israel and stood almost alone in his get together opposing the Iran nuke deal. Then again, within the Trump period he’s been extra in lockstep with different Democrats on each points.
However is his opponent, a political novice, as much as the job of changing him? We consider so.
Hugin, who served 14 years within the Marines and simply retired as CEO of a extremely profitable cancer-drug firm, is a straight-up centrist, in all probability the one sort of Republican who can win in Jersey.
He’s socially liberal — pro-choice, pro-same-sex-marriage, pro-equal-pay-for-equal-work — and a self-described fiscal conservative.
He’s been extraordinarily cautious in his strategy towards Trump, embracing some insurance policies and distancing himself from others.
However on key financial points, he seems dedicated to commonsense Republican ideas. Pushing for decrease taxes, he says he’ll work to remove or at the very least increase the cap on state and native tax deductions.
Hugin clearly needs the job: He’s spent thousands and thousands of his personal cash on the race and made clear from the beginning he had no intention of turning into one other sacrificial lamb.
And with Republicans now wanting more likely to retain management of the US Senate, a Hugin win would give the Backyard State a voice with the bulk caucus.
Voters can select to consider Menendez’s declare that, after greater than 30 years in elected workplace (and two phrases within the Senate), he’s lastly realized his lesson and can behave himself sooner or later. Sorry — we’re not shopping for it.
New Jersey, and the nation, might be significantly better off with Bob Hugin within the Senate.