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Menendez, Kyrillos Lock Horns in Senate Race

The incumbent, Robert Menendez, is well financed and heavily favored over Republican State Senator Joseph Kyrillos.

U.S. Senate candidates Robert Menendez and Joe Kyrillos agree on little when it comes to the issues. The veterans of New Jersey politics are largely pushing party-line policy as voters take to the polls on election day. 

Menendez, a native of Union City, has been the heavy early favorite over the state legislator. A recent Philadelphia Inquirer poll had Menendez up 50-32 over Kyrillos, in line with polls conducted by Richard Stockton College and Quinnipiac University.

Kyrillos, echoing larger party sentiments, favors extending tax cuts for the "job creators" making large sums of money and also relaxing corporate taxes.

It's a philosophy not shared by Menendez, who says New Jersey families have been "victimized" by corporate loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthy. 

Economy/Taxes

"The middle class is under attack, and that is why I have been fighting back," the U.S. senator claims in a series of television ads.

With $15 million raise for his campaign, those ads have been playing quite often. Menendez holds an $11 million fundraising advantage over the Monmounth County state senator.

Menendez says he wants to "defend" the middle class by creating tax credits for families and students, while also closing tax loopholes exploited by corporations. Menendez has also favored ending the Bush-era tax cuts for those making $250,000 or more.

Kyrillos, a state senator since 1992 but lacking in big-name recognition, has tagged along for Gov. Chris Christie's "Jersey Comeback" tour. He says his opponent's growth plan is the wrong approach.

He has advocated for universal tax cuts – including those for corporations – to spur job growth, instead. Kyrillos envisions individual tax rates dropping 20 percent, with corporate taxes falling from 35 percent – the highest in the world – to 25 percent.

"We're going to have to raise revenue, and I want to do it through growth," Kyrillos said at a debate against the senator this fall.

Health Care/Social Issues

The two candidates also differ sharply on health care. Menendez says he's an advocate for lower-and-middle class families having affordable options. He voted for Obamacare. He's also been a staunch pro-choice supporter.

Kyrillos, who has moved from pro-life to pro-choice, says he believes women should have options, though parental notice and a waiting period should be required with abortions. He supports third-trimester abortions. 

The state senator has also expressed some support for some of Obama's healthcare changes, including coverage for those with pre-existing illnesses as well as young adults staying on their parents' plan until age 26. Overall, he maintains, the plan is too expensive.

The pair also differ on same sex marriage – Menendez favors it, Kyrillos does not.

Foreign Policy

Both candidates agreed that Iran was a serious threat to national security. Menendez has sponsored legislation creating sanctions against Iran, which he said have been effective. Kyrillos disagrees, point to Iran's continuing nuclear ambitious.

Kyrillos during the campaign has also stessed he favors an eventual withdrawal from Afghanistan. Menendez, who has criticized the war in Iraq for years as being foolish, claims a switch in battlefield strategy from anti-insurgency to anti-terrorist would be optimum.

Doreen November 07, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Roseanne, "ditto" to everything you said. Mickey Mouse would do more for our state then him. Politics are crooked & it's about the candidate that has the most campaign money & so called people "friends" who just happen to drop a ton of cash their way expecting favors in return. These people don't give a hoot about NJ, they know nothing about NJ but they do love putting money in the candidates pocket that is as corrupt or bought by them. I really hate to think this way & it's just my opinion.
paul November 07, 2012 at 01:23 PM
NJ corrupt politicians perfect together equals nothing will change and everyone should expect a large increase in real estate taxes in NJ. The NJ School System is run by a bunch of politicians too. So don't expect our schools to change for the better anytime soon either.
Joan D. November 13, 2012 at 05:06 PM
You're right. I voted for Kenneth Cody for Congress in the 12th District. He's the Independent. If he got his message out more he probably would had a chance to win. Guess what? When Rush Holt raises $2 million dollars against a candidate (Cody) who refuses to accept contributions you get the same result each year
Mac December 01, 2012 at 11:35 AM
There was a time I viewed Coach products as an asset in personal style satisfaction. Unfortunately, your repeated crude and unwanted advertising of Coach products in reader's comments on the Patch indicates that Coach can no longer compete in the legitimate marketplace and must resort to the styles and practices of its once former knockoff sales outlets. Since the handles used on the Patch for this advertising campaign are used over and over again, it's unreasonable to believe this practice isn't sanctioned by Coach. As such, I'm sure you will understand why this family of 14 won't be shopping for Coach this holiday season for either themselves or their friends. However, your current advertising practices are allowing us some fun in asking those we see with Coach products if they bought them when Coach was still a healthy Coach organization or if they just got suckered with a Coach named product from a company that is reducing its standards of quality operation. Many of the responses to this avenue of thought have been priceless.
Deborah Bell December 01, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Mac, the spammers aren't from Coach. They're usually China-based spammers.

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