As expected, incumbent New Jersey U.S. Senator Bob Menendez has easily defeated his republican challenger Joe Kyrillos.

Senator Bob Menendez campaign sign (Maggie Sarlo, Rider News)

During his victory speech at democratic headquarters in New Brunswick, Menendez said he couldn't be more grateful for this extraordinary victory.

"But, we first have to celebrate the fact that New Jersey has survived an unprecedented storm - we are battered but not broken, damaged but with a stronger sense of community than ever before…Let's not forget the thousands of New Jerseyans who are without power and need help- families who have lost loved ones, others who have lost everything they worked for - our thoughts and prayers go out to them tonight. Tonight we celebrate the people of New Jersey - and the fact that we made it through one of the worst natural disasters in our history."

Representative Rush Holt at Democrat headquarters on Election Night (Maggie Sarlo, Rider News)

Menendez told the crowd, "If our response to the storm has taught us anything, it's that we're all in this together - one united community. It shows us that a good, efficient, well run and managed government can level the playing field for every family in good times and in bad. And it taught us that in the face of a national crisis, there must always be a strong and effective national response - it taught us the phrase that is on our coin - e pluaibus unum - from many one - it isn't just a motto, it's a way of life."

"In this election I wanted to run a positive campaign that ended the politics of personal destruction that we have seen over the last decade in New Jersey - I wanted to give you someone to vote for and something for which to vote for instead of someone to vote against- and we did that in this campaign… With your votes, you told me okay Bob, get back to work in Washington and fight for each and every one of us and that's exactly what I'm going to do."

Menendez said now that the election is over, "We go to work, to continue creating good jobs and economic opportunity, to make sure our kids get a great education and that they can afford college…to continue to fight for families to make sure they have the health care they deserve - an energy future that unshackles us from foreign oil and polluting emissions and to break the yoke of a national debt that chokes our future prosperity…I see a rising sun for America, not a setting sun, a future of hope and opportunity and prosperity."