SPRINGFIELD, NJ – The Elks Club in Springfield on Tuesday was the setting for Bob Hugin of Summit to announce is candidacy as a Republican for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Bob Menendez.

The former CEO and Chairman of Celegene, Hugin resigned from the company on February 5 as executive chairman.  The crowd of over 100 was largely enthusiastic party insiders.  Mr. Hugin was introduced by Rich Pezzullo, Congressman Leonard Lance and his daughter Hilary. He was joined on stage by his wife Kathy.   His two sons serve in the Marines.

He detailed a modest upbringing coming from Union City where he was the first in his family to go to college on a full scholarship to Princeton. After college he enlisted in the Marines to “give back to a country that gave so much to me”

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In his speech he said, “I want to deal with tough issues and tell you where I stand on them.  I am a straight forward and frank person.  There are no secrets.”

He concluded his remarks with “We will not be defined by others.  We can and will create our own destiny our own future. We can and will make a meaningful difference in the lives of ALL New Jerseyans.”

One of the attendees said, “Hugin sounded great. I went there thinking that this was going to be just another ‘wealthy suit, a corporate CEO throwing his hat into a new venture.  Instead, this guy sounded legit and genuine.”

Among those attending the event were former Lt. Governor and  gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz, former Congressman Mike Ferguson and Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo.

Hugin also has an MBA from University of Virginia.  He joined Celgene in 1999 as its Chief Financial Officer.  During his time at the company, its market cap increased from about $100 million to almost $70 billion and its workforce has grown about 60 times to about 6,000.

New Jersey’s primary election will be held of June 5 and the general election will be held on November 6.

The last republican Senator from New Jersey was Jeffrey Chiesa who was appointed by Governor Chris Christie to fill the vacancy caused by the death of incumbent Frank Lautenberg.  Chiesa served rom June 6, 2013 to October 31, 2013.  He retired when the seat’s current occupant was elected, Senator Cory Booker.

The last republican to be elected to the senate was Clifford P. Case.  He served 44 years from January 3, 1955 to January 3, 1979.  He lost a primary battle and the seat was eventually won by Bill Bradley.