ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - Well, he did it. Sen. Bob Menendez won his party's line in yesterday's primary, even after being indicted, going through an embarassing six-week trial in Newark, and then being "severely admonished" by his colleagues on the Senate Ethics Committee for his coziness to a campaign donor. But the election among the party faithful was not a cakewalk for our senior senator, who received around 62 percent of the vote against an unknown challenger who didn't spend any money. This unknown even won five counties, and virtually tied the entrenched, well-funded senator in two others. Translation: Some Democrats aren't crazy about their candidate, but it is their candidate. And Menendez is their best chance to keep the Senate seat among Democrats, which, to them, is clearly what counts.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - So, Sen. Menendez is the candidate. And Democrats want voters to be thankful that we have him, and not Bob Hugin. And who is Bob Hugin? And why do we keep writing Bob Hugin? Bob Hugin. Bob Hugin. Well, Bob Hugin happens to be the next unknown competing against Menendez. Bob Hugin easily won the Republican primary yesterday and Bob Hugin will now be slamming Menendez over the summer and through the election season about ethics. Democrats want you to know Bob Hugin is, of course, a terrible person. Key talking points: Bob Hugin is a Trump supporter. Bob Hugin headed a New Jersey pharma company that raised prices 20 percent in less than a year on a key cancer drug. Bob Hugin has hidden money overseas. Bob Hugin has fought against other companies trying to produce a cheaper version of life-saving drugs. That's Bob Hugin. And that's all you need to know, apparently, about Bob Hugin.
NOT NEW JERSEY - If you were betting on New Jersey becoming the latest state to launch legal sports gambling, time to pay up. The winner is Delaware, which took its first bet at 1:30 p.m. yesterday, just three weeks after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision. The inaugural wager came from Delaware Gov. John Carney, and this is clearly the biggest thing to happen to Delaware since someone brought over a fluffernutter on the Cape May ferry. Carney put $10 down on the Phillies to beat the Cubs tonight. (Hey, calm down there, you crazy governor.) New Jersey lawmakers are set to vote tomorrow on new gambling regulations, paving the way for Gov. Phil Murphy to sign similar laws to get the party started here.
ATLANTIC CITY - The Miss America pageant will soon be even less watchable, if that's possible. It's already not the iconic boardwalk extravaganza it once was. Times and tastes have drastically changed, especially in this #MeToo era. Former Miss America Gretchen Carlson - now at the pageant's helm - tells Good Morning America that it's no longer acceptable for young women to sashay on stage in swimsuits and stilettos. Contestants, Carlson says, should be judged on their talents and "what comes out of their mouths." So, this September, these amateur ventriloquists, baton twirlers and oboe players will regale us with keen insight on East Asian nuclear disarmament or that border wall that Mexico is dying to pay for. And, if they so desire, contestants can do it wearing burlap sacks and Birkenstocks. Bottom line, folks: swimsuits are out.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
STATEWIDE - As you read this, your eyes are melting. OK, maybe not exactly melting, but they are certainly strained by all the emitted light beams. According to The Vision Council, four out of five of us stare at smart phones and other screens at least two hours a day, and that is really messing with our eyes. Back when we all read newspapers....remember those things?.....the printed material was easy on our eyes. But all these new-fangled devices require us to use a muscle to change the shape of the lens in our eyes, NJ 101.5 reports. And that is creating as whole new generation of bespectacled people with near-sightedness. The solution: Read newspapers and go outside, where your eyes can stare out 20 yards or so and get a break from all that fake light.
NEW ORLEANS - There no real proof that oysters enhance sexual desire, but it's only a guess that topic got debated in The Big Easy after a guy named "Breeden" (yeah, for real) won the World's Oyster Eating Championship. The Times-Picayune says it took only eight minutes for Virginia native, Darron Breeden, to slurp down 480 live, gooey oysters at the city's annual Oyster Festival on Sunday. Breeden now says he's off to "Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest" in Manhattan on the Fourth of July. Aw shucks, he sounds like a glutton for punishment.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1991 that Diff'rent Strokes cast member Dana Plato is given a six-year suspended sentence for robbing a video store. Mr. Drummond - not pleased.
WORD OF THE DAY
Mise-en-scène - [meez-ahn-SEN] - noun
Definition: The arrangement of actors and scenery on a stage for a theatrical production
Example: For my kid's talent show, the school arranged a dramatic mise-en-scène while loudspeakers played Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." Then, we all had juice and cookies.
WEATHER IN A WORD