Republican senatorial candidate Bob Hugin scored his second endorsement in as many weeks by a member of the opposite party.
Teddy Price, a Democratic candidate for Ocean County freeholder, gave Hugin his endorsement Wednesday over incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, whose corruption trial earlier this year resulted in a hung jury. Price told another publication he is not switching parties, as Brick councilman Jim Fozman did following his endorsement of Hugin, saying his endorsement specifically has nothing to do with party affiliation.
“This year’s election isn’t about Democrats or Republicans, it’s about the people of New Jersey,” said Price, in a statement. “Unlike Senator Bob Menendez, who has disgraced the office and our state, Bob Hugin is a man of service, honor, and integrity who will put the people of New Jersey first. He has a proven track record of creating jobs and bringing people together from different backgrounds to find innovative solutions to complex problems.”
Recent polls have shown Hugin has amassed a sizable lead of Menendez among independent voters, however he still trails the incumbent slightly in the overall electorate. The race is being considered a statistical dead heat.
Hugin, as expected, praised the endorsement.
“The continued support I am receiving from Democrats like Teddy Price is humbling and a clear sign that the people of New Jersey know this election is so much bigger than typical party politics,” said Hugin, in the same statement. “After suffering under Bob Menendez’s 25 years of corrupt, ineffective leadership, the people of New Jersey know that they deserve better and it’s time for change. They want an action-oriented, results-driven Senator who will put people above politics and that’s the kind of Senator I will be from day one.”
For his part, Price is running in what could be one of the first competitive freeholder races in Ocean County since the late 1980s. Longtime, and popular, freeholder John Bartlett has announced he is not seeking re-election in order to focus on fighting a recurrence of cancer. The Ocean County GOP is meeting Wednesday night to determine who will replace Bartlett in the race.
Price has described himself as a “conservative Democrat” in campaign literature.