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Sen. Menendez engaged

WASHINGTON -- New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez is engaged.

The Democrat proposed Monday night to Alicia Mucci, adding another milestone to a year that has swung from an ethics cloud to achievement and, now, personal joy.

Menendez proposed Monday night at the Capitol rotunda, according to his staff.

Mucci, 45, manages real estate investments, according to Menendez's staff. She is from Bergen County -- several reports say Paramus.

The engagement comes at the end of a whirlwind year that began with questions about Menendez's future as the senator, 59, faced a series of ethics questions, which were never fully resolved but have largely faded into the background, giving Menendez room to step to the forefront of several high-profile issues.

(The most salacious allegations were either never backed up or crumbled as supposed accusers backtracked; other issues, still unresolved, centered on Menendez accepting flights on a donor's private plane).

Since then, Menendez has helped usher an immigration overhaul through the Senate and become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, giving him a major role in the ongoing debate over the U.S. deal with Iran on Iran's nuclear program.

Menendez is divorced, and has two adult children: Alicia and Robert Jr.

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