In 1972, yes, I was three years old, the state of New Jersey did something that it hasn't done since, elect a Republican to the United States Senate.

Clifford Case won his fourth term in 1972, which was the last time voters in New Jersey elected a Republican. In 1978, Case lost a primary battle to conservative challenger Jeff Bell, who went on to lose to former Knicks Basketball star Bill Bradley.

This year, the election is between Senator Bob Menendez who was "severely admonished" by the US Senate after his corruption trial ended in a mistrial and the federal government declined to pursue the case. His opponent is Bob Hugin who has spent millions of his own dollars to remind voters about what crimes Menendez was accused of and never acquitted.

For New Jersey, the vote will come down to Donald Trump. As much as editorials have actually come out and asked voters to "hold their nose" to vote for Menendez, many people may vote for him just to show their opposition to President Trump.

Of course, that's a compelling reason for die-hard, ideological "Never-Trumpers". But what about the average New Jerseyan? It would be a testament of how bad politics have become in NJ if hatred of the Commander-in-Chief, who has brokered peace, jump started our economy and lead the way to historic tax reform benefiting most New Jersey families, becomes the reason voters send Menendez back to DC. After all, the same leaders (Booker and Murphy) who called for the withdrawing of the nomination of now Justice Brett Kavanaugh after a series of unproven, unsubstantiated and uncorroborated accusations, stood by Menendez despite, evidence, corroboration and admonishment from his fellow Senators including Democrats.

For me, despite the fact that as a Trump-Republican I don't line up on all Hugin's positions, he got my vote. As I explained on the air today, I voted this weekend dropping off my mail ballot in Trenton.

You've still got a few hours to decide. Take a listen to my conversation with Bob Hugin from Monday's show above.

Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.

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