U.S. Senate candidates Menendez and Kyrillos compete for middle-class credibility

The fight is on for New Jersey’s middle class.

U.S. Senate candidates state Senator Joe Kyrillos and incumbent Bob Menendez clashed on the issues in their first debate last night at Montclair State University.

Topics ranged from foreign policy and abortion to the candidates’ relationships with Governor Chris Christie. But the main source of tension in the debate, broadcast by NJTV, was over who would do a better job at growing New Jersey’s shrinking middle class.


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Democratic incumbent Senator Bob Menendez says he’s been doing that all along by voting to expand tax credits.

“The Republicans held middle class tax cuts hostage to tax cuts for the wealthiest,” he said.  

Republican challenger and longtime state Senator Joe Kyrillos says he wants to lower taxes across the board and eliminate deductions.

“It’s not about millionaires and billionaires; it’s about the middle class,” he said.

The two men also charged each other with hurting the economy. While Kyrillos argued that unemployment and the national debt have risen since his opponent has been in Washington, Menendez was quick to point out New Jersey’s high property taxes.  

The candidates will face off again next Wednesday.

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