Former Gov. Chris Christie took to Twitter today to praise his close ally, Bob Hugin, on his retirement from pharma giant Celgene. Hugin is expected to enter the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination against incumbent Bob Menendez.
It’s no surprise that Christie is praising him. Hugin 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. Hugin served on the board of Choose New Jersey, a non-profit funded by those unable to contribute to state political candidates 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.
After Christie dropped out of the presidential race, he brought Hugin with him to Donald Trump’s campaign. Hugin 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.