New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez forcefully denied allegations he previously engaged in prostitution in the Dominican Republic, when his Republican opponent aired a campaign ad featuring an FBI affidavit of the years-old claims.

On "Special Report," Bret Baier said that Menendez' (D-N.J.) race against GOP businessman Bob Hugin is "getting a lot closer than expected" in the deep blue Garden State.

In a new ad, Hugin nodded to statements by Menendez during the confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh -- who was accused of sexual misconduct.

"When will we as a society begin to believe women," Menendez is seen saying on the Senate floor.

Hugin's ad then pivots to an FBI affidavit that claimed the "Obama Justice Department had evidence that... Menendez traveled to the D.R. to engage in sexual activity with prostitutes, some of whom were minors."

Menendez has vehemently denied the allegations in the past, and doubled down on that contention in a Hackensack, N.J. news conference in which he called Hugin a "slimeball" and a "misogynist" for recycling them in his ad.

The claims were not part of Menendez' recent federal corruption trial -- which ended in a hung jury -- David Lee Miller reported.

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Hugin defended the ad, and appeared to dismiss Menendez' response by saying that the senator's "character is in question here, not mine."

In a recent Fox News interview, Hugin said that New Jersey "knows they could do so much better [than Menendez]" and that the ex-Union City mayor "has been in chaos his entire term."

New Jersey has not elected a Republican senator since Clifford Case in 1972.

When Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) died several years ago, then-Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) named State Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa (R-N.J.) to take his place, but Chiesa declined to run for election when his partial term expired.

Hugin also dismissed an attack ad from Menendez, which claimed Hugin put patients at-risk while serving as CEO of Summit, N.J.-based pharmaceutical company Celgene.

The Republican said that Celgene was and continues to be a patient-centered company.

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