NJ Senate Candidate Bob Hugin’s daughter, “I trust my dad’s judgment the most.”

NJ Senate Candidate Bob Hugin’s daughter Hillary makes a surprise visit to Hoboken

Last week’s Spaghetti Dinner saw little by way of politicos appearing before the upcoming November elections. Other than a local referendum where voters will decide whether to bring back runoffs, the ballot for Mile Square political denizens is scant.

Then there’s the surprising highly contested New Jersey Senate campaign. Marine and businessman Bob Hugin has launched a herculean effort to take out and replace the highly controversial and to present, unconvicted, decade plus occupant in Senator Bob Menendez.

Some deem it a battle of the good Bob versus the bad Bob. Almost anywhere but in the Soprano State, the outcome would not be in doubt. Menendez’s favorable/unfavorable ratings are under water. Be it Hoboken or “Joisey” as a whole; it’s too often centered on a slugfest, not corruption being the electorate decider.

The late Senator Frank Lautenberg reportedly said, “(NJ) politics is a bloodsport, and the objective is to have less of your blood in the sand than your opponents.” That means the most corrupt elected officials short of being sent to the pokey in the Soprano State always have a shot. That’s Bob Menendez’s bet.

Enter Hillary Hugin, 27, a marketing professional working in Manhattan who made a surprising splash on behalf of her father at the Mile Square City’s quaint Spaghetti Dinner last Thursday.

Hillary Hugin, daughter of New Jersey US Senate candidate Bob Hugin made a surprising appearance at Hoboken’s
14th annual Spaghetti Dinner last week. The race is surprisingly close entering the Labor Day Holiday weekend.

How does a family member cope finding themselves thrust into a hot statewide US Senate campaign? Hillary Hugin described it as a family conversation that went from warm to hot in January when her father called her at work saying he was strongly leaning to take on Bob Menendez.

What did she think? “Of course I want you to do it,” she told him. She would detail how she and her brothers were raised to “give back to your community (so)… how could I say no?”

Commenting on her feelings overall as the NJ Senate race heats up a notch after Labor Day, she fully anticipates what most political observers know is coming. A wounded animal in the form of Bob Menendez’s with his decades-long political career is on the line. She said, “I’m worried it will get ugly,” before concluding, “I’m entirely confident in my dad’s judgment and integrity over anyone else.”

Of the attacks about her father’s role as a CFO then later President of Celgene, a pharmaceutical firm making headway with innovative drugs against cancer and other illness, she said, “I know it doesn’t cost a dollar to make a cancer drug.” She went on to discuss how the investment in research and development is a big driver before any successful drug enters the marketplace and eventually becomes generic at a far lower price point.

Hillary Hugin fully expects more attacks to come on this and other fronts saying, “It’s hard to disagree with what someone says…. when you don’t have a vehicle.” She appears aware that the NJ media is lining up against her father. “I’m going to be on edge until the election,” (in November), she says with an exterior of acceptance.

Asked what she wants voters to know about her father before they go out and vote for a New Jersey Senator she needed no prompting. “Character. I’m entirely confident in my dad’s judgment and integrity over anyone else… I trust my dad’s judgment the most.”

It went without saying, the contrasting elephant standing in the shadows of Hoboken’s meatballs and pasta is, of course, the long and checkered career of one Bob Menendez.

The election for the New Jersey US Senate race is a tossup but one thing is certain. Hillary Hugin is going to be at the epicenter of a very hot Senate campaign this fall and will always be her father’s daughter.

For more on NJ Senate candidate Bob Hugin, see:

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