NJ voters to settle expensive Senate race, decide 12 House seats

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

New Jersey voters are about to settle an expensive Senate race along with a dozen House seats, including two where Republican incumbents are retiring.

In Tuesday's election, two-term Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez is fighting to hold on in what experts say is an unexpectedly close contest against Republican Bob Hugin.

Hugin has given his campaign more than $30 million and seized on Menendez's 2017 federal corruption trial. It eventually ended with the charges being dropped, but also led to a harshly worded Senate Ethics Committee admonishment.

Hugin says that his internal polls show him ahead of Menendez by two points. But most public polls show that the incumbent has a single-digit lead over Hugin.

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Surveys show Democrats could pick up House seats in two races where Republican incumbents are retiring.

Republican Jay Webber, a six-term state assemblyman from Morris Plains, is running against Democrat Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy helicopter pilot and federal prosecutor, in the 11th District. One of them will replace longtime Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen. 

The district covers Essex, Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties. It’s been more than 30 years since the 11th District has put a Democrat in Congress.

Voters will also decide whether to approve $500 million in bonds for educational projects.

Election workers say that they have seen an increase in mail-in ballots this year. They say that interest in the Senate and House races have energized eligible voters to come out. Numbers on Election Day are expected to be reminiscent of a presidential election.

The 2014 midterms saw a 38 percent voter turnout in Ocean County. Tuesday’s turnouts could run as high as 70 percent in some districts, according to the county clerk.

Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 8 p.m. More information about where and when to vote can be found at the New Jersey Division of Elections website.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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