The state's candidates for the U.S. Senate tussled Thursday during their first debate over who's best for the middle class.

Bob Menendez & Joe Kyrillos (flickr, Facebook)

Incumbent Democrat Robert Menendez said during Thursday night's debate at Montclair State University he's fighting for the middle class while Republican challenger and state Sen. Joe Kyrillos is more concerned with cutting taxes for the wealthy.

Kyrillos said if Menendez were doing such a good job the unemployment rate would be lower and the national deficit would be smaller.

Menendez and Kyrillos have two more debates scheduled before the Nov. 6 election.

The race has not gotten much attention in the state, which has not elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate in 40 years.

Kyrillos is hoping for a boost from Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who says Kyrillos is perhaps his best friend in Trenton and says he will appear at four campaign stops with him before the election.

The pair will debate again on Wednesday at the studios of New Jersey 101.5 at 7PM.

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