As biotech and pharmaceutical millionaire Robert Hugin explores a bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, here are 9 things to know about Bob Menendez’s potential opponent.
1. Hugin, 63, grew up in Union City, Menendez’s hometown. They both graduated high school in 1972. Menendez went to Union Hill High School, while Hugin was across town at Emerson High School. Hugin’s father was an assistant manager at Western Union in Jersey City.
2. He went to Princeton University, then spent seven years in the U.S. Marine Corps before getting his MBA at the University of Virginia. He worked as an investment banker for J.P. Morgan & Co. for fourteen years. Hugin met his wife, Kathy, a bond trader, while working on Wall Street. Kathy’s father was a well-known trial lawyer who served as a federal prosecutor in the 1950’s. They have three children and live in Summit. They also have a vacation home in Colorado.
3. He joined Celgene Corporation, a biotechnology and pharmaceutical company, as CFO in 1999. He was CEO from 2006 to 2010, and Chairman from 2010 to 2016. Now he’s Executive Chairman. Hugin earned $22.5 million there in 2016. Forbes estimates the value of his Celgene stock at $33.9 million.
4. In July 2017, Celgene paid $280 million to settle claims that it marketed cancer drugs for uses that were not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. One of the drugs, Revlimid, brought in over $7 billion in revenues.
5. Hugin was once a Menendez supporter, contributing $4,800 to the Senator’s 2012 re-election campaign. He is also a contributor to the Celgene Corporation PAC, which has already contributed $5,000 to Menendez’s 2018 re-election campaign.
6. He is close to Gov. Chris Christie. He contributed $250,000 to Christie’s super PAC, $2,700 to Christie’s presidential campaign and $5,000 to the Leadership Matters for America PAC. Christie’s best friend, Republican National Committeeman Bill Palatucci, is advising Hugin through his exploratory process.
7. Hugin has strong ties to President Donald Trump. He was a Trump delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention, gave $100,000 to a super PAC backing Trump, $5,200 directly to the Trump campaigns, and $150,000 to the Republican National Committee in the 2016 cycle. He also contributed directly to twenty state parties across the country. He was on a finance committee to raise money for Trump’s transition team.
8. He has made nearly $1.7 million in federal campaign contributions, nearly all of it to Republicans. He gave $100,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC, and $300,000 to Paul Ryan’s committees, and another $100,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
9. Hugin served on the board of Choose New Jersey, a non-profit partly financed by companies barred from contributing to Christie because of pay-to-play laws. The group has picked up expenses for much of Christie’s international travel; it is run by Christie ally Michele Brown.