Republican Bob Hugin is up on the air with the first TV ad of the 2018 U.S. Senate campaign. He’s spending in the $90,000 a week range to run the 30-second spot on CNN, Fox News and CNBC, sources say.
Called “Service,” the ad subtly contracts Hugin with Democratic opponent Bob Menendez. Photos highlight Hugin’s roots in a working-class neighborhood in Union City (where Menendez also grew up) and shows pictures of him in the Marines. It includes footage of Hugin’s announcement speech: “It’s what you do for others as a leader that makes a difference, not what you do for yourself. We can and must do better in Washington, D.C.”
Hugin presents himself to New Jerseyans as a “health care leader who helped developed life-saving cancer treatments for millions of people.” Menendez is expected to look to change that narrative, identifying Hugin as a big-pharma millionaire who endangered cancer patients by hiding the side effects of anti-cancer drugs marketed by his company, Celgene.
Look for Menendez to hit Hugin hard on Celgene issues – like a $280 million settlement of a lawsuit alleging that his company paid kickbacks to doctors who illegally prescribed their drugs to cancer patients.
A post-script on a recent Hugin fundraising solicitation essentially lays out his own challenge to Menendez, who is fighting to regain his popularity after a prolonged corruption trial that ended with his being cleared on all charges.
“As a young man, I joined the Marine Corps and served our country with honor and distinction. Bob Menendez went into politics to serve himself and his donors – and got indicted for corruption. New Jersey deserves so much better,” Hugin wrote.