A group of seven prominent African-American ministers say that sending Bob Hugin to the United States Senate would accelerate Donald Trump’s racist agenda.
“Bob Hugin has absolutely zero history of supporting New Jersey’s people of color, but he does have a long record of supporting Donald Trump and Chris Christie. Hugin cares as much about the black community as Donald Trump and will just be a shill for Trump’s racist policies,” the clergymen said in a statement issued by the Menendez campaign. “He spent over $200,000 to get Trump elected and supports his judicial nominees who are already rolling back hard-fought civil rights victories we have pursued for generations. Electing Bob Hugin will only hasten Trump’s anti-black agenda.”
The pastors – Rev. Joe A. Carter of New Hope Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Kenneth D.R. Clayton of St. Luke Baptist Church in Paterson, Rev. Louise Scott-Roundtree, Rev. Fondra L. Lewis, Rev. Dr. Kenneth H. Saunders of North Stelton A.M.E. Church in Piscataway, Rev. Dr. Ronald L. Slaughter of St. James A.M.E. Church in Newark, and Rev. Janel York of Friendship Baptist Church in Paterson – spoke out against Hugin after an NJ.com story about Bishop Jethro James of the Paradise Baptist Church inviting the Republican U.S. Senate candidate to speak to his congregants.
James told the New Jersey Globe that he and former Newark Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Cheneyfield Jenkins met with Hugin over the summer but stressed that he has not taken sides in the race.
“Bob Hugin and I talked,” James said. “Mr. Hugin is not a Trump Republican. I haven’t endorsed anyone. I won’t endorse anyone.”
The bishop said that it would be “foolishness not to have both parties at the table.”
“You have to look at what’s best for the community,” James said. “My congregation had the right to hear from both sides.”
He also strongly denied that Cheneyfield Jenkins had sought any compensation from Hugin for herself or for her husband, Kevin Jenkins.
“Not true,” he said.
The other seven ministers said that Menendez was their clear choice.
“Nobody should doubt our rock-solid relationship with Senator Menendez. And nobody should doubt that New Jersey’s strong and vibrant African-American community will show up at historic levels on Election Day to send Bob Menendez back to Washington to keep fighting for us,” the clergy said.