Menendez attacks rival Hugin’s prostitution ad as ‘lies’

HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) — Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey is attacking his Republican rival’s latest ad revisiting old, unsubstantiated allegations that he patronized underage prostitutes.

He calls Bob Hugin’s claims “lies.”

Menendez appeared at a county Democratic office in Hackensack on Wednesday to respond to the new minute-long spot.

The allegations first surfaced when Menendez ran for re-election in 2012. They stem from an anonymous tip to an ethics watchdog and the FBI.

Prosecutors eventually charged Menendez with corruption for his dealings with a Florida eye doctor who is his friend. But the federal case was dropped in 2018 after a mistrial.

Hugin has called attention to the corruption case in other ads, and the race is now closer than expected.

A Democratic Super PAC said Tuesday it is now pumping $3 million into TV ads to help Menendez.

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