Bob Hugin, the Republican who hopes to topple U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez in this year’s Senate race, formally announced his candidacy yesterday.
Hugin, a multimillionaire former pharmaceutical executive, said Tuesday that he is “offended by Senator Menendez’s actions,” referring to the two-time senator’s federal corruption charges, which were dropped months after his trial ended in a hung jury.
“He’s violated the public trust and, at the same time, he’s failed the people of New Jersey,” Hugins told a crowd in Springfield.
Despite polls showing that the case cut into the Democrat’s popularity, he is still favored to win. That’s because no Republican has been elected to the U.S. Senate from New Jersey since 1972, with one publication referring to the race as “solid Democratic.”
Hugins will also have to distance himself from his campaign contributions made to former Gov. Chris Christie and President Donald Trump.
David Bergstein, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Hugin would be “a rubber stamp for President Trump and his agenda that raises taxes on middle class families.”
Despite his history, he says he will work with Democrats, and stand up against Trump and Republicans if they have an idea that’s bad for New Jersey.
“I will forcefully stand up and disagree with them,” he said.
They both face primary challengers, but Menendez and Hugin have the support of their statewide parties and are considered the front-runners in the race.
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