Bob Hugin appeared with local officials who lambasted Sen. Bob Menendez over the 2011 closing of Fort Monmouth, a former Army base that brought close to ten thousand jobs to the county, on Wednesday.
“When the federal government closed Fort Monmouth, Bob Menendez failed to save thousands of New Jersey jobs. The federal government’s decision and the failure by our elected officials in Washington to stop it had a real world impact on thousands of people in our community,” said Monmouth Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger. “But we’ve really made an omelette out of cracked eggs here and turned this into a positive. I can’t think of anyone better than Bob Hugin to make sure Washington gives New Jersey the resources we need.”
Menendez, along with the area’s House delegates and late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, opposed the base’s closing, the process for which began under President George W. Bush.
In 2005, when the process to close the base began in 2005, Menendez was a congressman.
“Bob Hugin’s baseless attacks conveniently ignore that it was the Bush Administration and a Republican Congress that decided to close Fort Monmouth–more proof that Republicans like Hugin will never have our backs and couldn’t care less about the residents and communities their misguided policies hurt,” Menendez communications director Steven Sandberg said. Even though Bob Menendez did not represent the base at the time, he voted against the closure of Fort Monmouth, has fought vigorously against the BRAC process, and repeatedly delivered critical funding to extend the missions at New Jersey’s installations, including the Joint Base, Earle and Picatinny. While Bob Hugin wants to focus on Bush Administration base closures that Bob Menendez opposed, the Senator is actively fighting to enhance New Jersey’s national security infrastructure.”
By the time the base closed in 2011, Menendez was a senator, and Democrats controlled the upper chamber of Congress, but Republicans held a majority of seats in the House of Representatives.
While the area has since seen some redevelopment, mostly by county officials, the base’s closing has remained an issue for many in the area.