Menendez, Hugin to face off in only debate of NJ Senate race

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and Republican rival Bob Hugin are set to clash in their first and only debate.

The two-term incumbent and his GOP opponent are scheduled to meet Wednesday in Newark on NJTV in a debate televised statewide.

Menendez has been on the defensive in a race where Hugin has poured $24 million of his own money into ads attacking the Democrat over his 2017 corruption trial. Menendez denied wrongdoing in the bribery case and the trial ended in a mistrial. Prosecutors dropped the charges.

Menendez attacks Hugin as an ally of President Donald Trump, who is unpopular in New Jersey.

Hugin retired as the top executive at drugmaker Celgene this year.

Experts say the race is tighter than expected given Democrats' 900,000-voter advantage.