One of New Jersey's widest-read newspapers urged voters over the weekend to "choke down" and support scandal-ridden, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, because he's still better than his Republican opponent despite his ethics "baggage."

"Choke it down, and vote for Menendez," the Star-Ledger asked in the headline of its editorial that said both candidates have significant flaws.

"Our hope is that voters remember that Trump is on the ballot, that they choke down their reluctance and vote for Menendez," the paper wrote. "He's no gem, but he's better than [GOP candidate Bob] Hugin."

The Justice Department dropped corruption charges against Menendez in January as part of a bribery case based on accusations he had accepted gifts from a wealthy donor in exchange for officials favors. He has denied any wrongdoing, but received a warning in April by the Senate Ethics Committee over the allegations.

But the Star-Ledger also criticized Hugin over claims of dirty campaign tactics and lawsuits his biopharmaceutical firm, Celgene, has faced under his management. The suits involved assertions the firm had concealed "potentially fatal side effects of its cancer drugs," the paper wrote.

The board eventually decided that the most important question is which flawed candidate will do a better job fighting President Trump's agenda.

"When you get past ethics, the central issue in this race is Donald Trump," the Star-Ledger's editorial board wrote Sunday. "The question is which candidate can best fight Trump's toxic policies, his grotesque appeals to racial and ethnic tribalism, and his corrosive attacks on the pillars of our democracy, starting with the rule of law."

"That makes this an easy decision: Menendez is the better choice, by far. He has our endorsement," the newspaper said.

Still, it said this year's Senate race "presents the most depressing choice for New Jersey voters in a generation, with two awful candidates whose most convincing argument is that the other guy is unfit to serve."

While 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton handily won New Jersey, the 2018 Senate race was deemed a toss-up last week by the Cook Political Report. As of Monday, Menendez still maintains a 6.5-percentage-point advantage over Hugin in RealClearPolitics' poll aggregator.