Menendez, Hugin clash in N.J. Senate race’s only debate

A pedestrian walks through a hallway as supporters of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bob Menendez, left, rallied against supporters of Republican candidate Bob Hugin outside of the NJTV Studios where the two are scheduled to engage in a debate, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A pedestrian walks through a hallway as supporters of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bob Menendez, left, rallied against supporters of Republican candidate Bob Hugin outside of the NJTV Studios where the two are scheduled to engage in a debate, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Sparks flew as New Jersey Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and Republican rival Bob Hugin clashed in their first and only debate.

Hugin said Wednesday on the NJTV debate televised statewide that the two-term senator “failed and embarrassed us.”

Menendez called Hugin, a former pharmaceutical executive, “greedy” over high cancer drug prices.

Menendez is on the defensive in a race where Hugin poured $24 million of his own money into ads attacking him 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 from Celgene this year.

Experts say the race is tighter than expected despite a Democratic registration advantage.

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