Democratic New Jersey councilman endorses GOP candidate over embattled Menendez

Democratic New Jersey councilman endorses GOP candidate over embattled Menendez
© Greg Nash

A Democratic city councilman for the township of Brick, N.J., on Monday endorsed a Republican challenging Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezJuan Williams: A breakthrough on immigration? Biden rebuffs Democrats, keeps refugee admissions at 15,000 Bottom line MORE (D-N.J.), who faced a trial on bribery charges last year.

Shorebeat.com reports that Brick councilman James Fozman said Monday at a campaign event for Bob Hugin (R) that he was endorsing Hugin over the incumbent Democratic senator to restore "honesty and integrity" to New Jersey.


“I’m endorsing him to restore the honesty and integrity to the office,” said Fozman, who Shorebeat reports previously served as Brick's council president. “We strongly believe in protecting our environment on issues like solar and wind, and opposing offshore drilling.”

A hung jury ended a corruption case against Menendez in November. The Department of Justice dismissed charges against him earlier this year. Menendez has maintained his innocence.

Fozman told the website that he was considering switching parties over the Democrats' support for Menendez, who lost the support of nearly 40 percent of the state's Democrats to a relatively unknown challenger in his primary despite his challenger spending no money against him.

“I haven’t ruled it out, and I haven’t ruled it in,” he said. “I’m reaching across the aisle, that’s all for now.”

A Quinnipiac University poll of the race released last week showed Hugin within single digits of Menendez, a smaller gap than the 17-point advantage the New Jersey senator held in the same poll in March.

Hugin slammed Menendez in an interview on New York's AM 970 The Answer over the weekend, and lamented that the senator would have been reelected without major opposition without his challenge.

"My wife and I were just offended that Bob Menendez was going to be reelected without any real opposition. He’s had 35 years of being involved in corruption," Hugin told radio host John Catsimatidis.

Democrats are looking to hold on to Menendez's seat in the fall as the party attempts to retake the upper chamber.