By Hilary Hugin
Today I hope to give a quick view into the Bob Hugin that many New Jerseyans haven’t had the pleasure of knowing. You might be aware of my dad’s opponent’s ongoing ethical embarrassments, but many don’t know what a contrast my dad brings to the table.
You’ve heard parts of it before — my dad was born and raised in New Jersey and has worked since he was eight years old when he began delivering newspapers. During a high school math class, his teacher encouraged her students to pursue college. “Who knows,” she said, “some of you may even get into Princeton.” My dad, having never heard of Princeton before and being the first in his family to go to college, thought to himself “why not me?” The rest is history.
After Princeton, my dad served seven years active duty in the Marines and another seven in the reserves. This was post-Vietnam when patriotism was at an all-time low. Marines weren’t held in high regard, but my dad felt a sense of duty to his country. In turn, the Marine Corps ignited my dad’s passion for serving others. The saying “it’s not about you, it’s about your Marines” really stuck. When my dad began to think about his future, his mentor, General Cheatham, told him, “Leaders go where the problems are.” He has since applied that lesson to every aspect of his life. That includes his candidacy for United States Senate in New Jersey. This race wasn’t in the plan, but our current Senator is a major problem and is one my dad felt compelled to tackle.
When I was eight, my dad joined Celgene. He and his coworkers pulled the company from the brink of bankruptcy turned the company into one of the most successful biotech companies in the world. His decision to to go to a company on the brink of bankruptcy is one of many examples of his independence and his willingness to accept a challenge. His time at Celgene has been maliciously misrepresented by his opponent and I can tell you with complete certainty that he put his heart and soul into fighting cancer and improving lives of patients around the world. My dad has been profoundly impacted by those patients and has been committed to serving them. As Senator, I know he will put forth that same devotion to improving the lives of every New Jerseyan day in and day out.
Bob Hugin’s selflessness doesn’t stop in the workplace. He is the best dad. His remarkable ability to power-snore for “a quick 15 minute nap” used to recharge him from a full day of work to drive us to and from early morning and late-night hockey practices. He managed his schedule to make it to our games even when they were right after school. We still can’t figure out how it all makes sense given the number of hours in a day. My dad has always been my biggest fan, never missing an opportunity to tell me, “Go get ‘em Hoopty! You’re the best!”. I don’t know what a Hoopty is, or even how to spell it, but I’ve been one for 28 years.
This all feels cheesy to say, but being “the greatest” to him all those years has meant a lot to us. He is a devoted husband, father, and leader. He is the hardest working person I’ve ever met. Robbie, Mac, and I cannot express how fortunate we are to have such an incredible dad and role model. We gladly admit that we strive to be like him every day–Robbie & Mac have even followed his lead into the Marine Corps as infantry officers.
Another thing that stands out to us is my dad’s example of fighting for what is right. In a time where politics is often characterized by falling in line with party, he will be an enforcer of what is right for his constituents. He will not let anyone compromise his beliefs and he won’t shy away from standing up to someone when they are wrong or self-serving, no matter the external pressure.
We as a society spend a lot of time complaining about corrupt politicians. Those who serve themselves and spew empty promises but fail to put words into action. We have such a great opportunity to set the standard for the rest of the country in sending a message that we do not accept corruption and inaction.
If we can’t hold political leaders in our own state accountable for their disrespect to their constituents, we can’t complain about our political environment. The buck must stop here. We New Jerseyans do not let anyone take advantage of us and get away with it. We have the rare opportunity to change the tide and oust a public servant that does not serve the people.
Bob Hugin is a great American and New Jerseyan, and he will be a Senator we can be proud of. He’s not just the better Bob, he’s the best Bob. On November 6th let’s stand up to corruption and set a new standard.