Where Bob Stands on the Issues
Bob Hugin was raised in a diverse neighborhood in Union City, Hudson County, where the values of hard work and service to community and country were instilled in him at a young age. Bob attended public schools and then became the first person in his family to attend college, earning a full academic scholarship. After graduating, Bob joined the United States Marine Corps and served 7 years on active duty and 7 more in the reserve. Professionally, Bob transformed a struggling biotech company into a worldwide leader in the fight against cancer and helped to create thousands of New Jersey jobs. He will be a Senator that we can be proud of.
Standing with Israel
Bob considers Israel among our most valued allies and supports officially recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, as well as the Administration’s recent decision to relocate the United States Embassy to the city. On a recent trip to Israel, Bob had the chance to meet with members of the Knesset as well as former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren to discuss ways to strengthen the relationship between our two nations. He supports a continued Israeli-Palestinian peace process that results in a two-state solution where the Palestinians unambiguously recognize Israel’s right to exist. Bob considers Israel a beacon of democracy and innovation in the Middle East and throughout the world, and as Senator he will seek to strengthen our commitment to Israel and the Israeli people.
Bob is a strong proponent of American energy independence and supports a multi-faceted energy strategy that includes more domestic production of oil and natural gas and continued support of nuclear power, which currently provides nearly 40% of New Jersey’s net electricity generation. He also backs smart investment in renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Bob opposes all drilling off the east coast. Period. It’s bad for the environment and the risk is far too high for our successful fishing and tourism industries.
Bob agrees with former President Ronald Reagan, who said: “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” We need to fix our immigration system in a comprehensive and compassionate way. That means securing our borders, opposing so-called Sanctuary Cities, and supporting law enforcement as they keep our communities safe. It also means creating a path to citizenship for Dreamers and immigrants who may not have come here legally, but are building productive and constructive lives in America. We are a nation of immigrants. A nation that is made better, fuller, and stronger by the diversity and talents of our people.
Protecting the Homeland
As a former United States Marine, Bob strongly supports putting in place measures that protect America from foreign terrorists who seek to do us harm. Bob will work with the President and leaders in both parties to enhance our vetting process and reform our visa and green card programs to ensure that our homeland is secure and our citizens are safe.
LGBTQ Liberty, Freedom & Equality
Bob Hugin believes every American should have equal opportunity to pursue the American Dream free from any discrimination in employment, housing, medical and elderly care, access to fair credit, and education. Diversity strengthens our society and discrimination has no place in it at any level.
As a Marine Corps veteran, Bob believes that any American who is qualified and able to serve in our nation’s armed forces should be given the opportunity to serve their country. That must include all members of the LGBTQ community and Bob opposes any attempt to ban transgender Americans from our nation’s armed forces.
Bob is pro-marriage equality and he will work to protect the freedoms and equality of all Americans. As Senator, he will be a proactive leader who will work to ensure that the rights of the LGBTQ community are protected and he’ll work to remove any barriers that threaten full equality.
Bob spent 14 years in the United States Marine Corps, seven on active duty and seven in the reserves. In the Senate, he will be a proponent of increased defense spending to ensure a highly-prepared, trained, and effective armed forces. Bob will also fight to bring additional key missions to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Picatinny Arsenal, and Naval Weapons Station Earle, as well as the Air National Guard 177th Fighter Wing at Atlantic City Airport and the US Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May. Bob will vigorously oppose any future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) that targets New Jersey’s military installations, which are imperative to our national defense and a major source of jobs and economic investment throughout New Jersey.
While the new tax reform bill will deliver real relief for many New Jerseyans and help spur economic growth and job creation, the fact remains that New Jersey is a high-tax state unfairly impacted by the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. Bob will fight to eliminate the cap, and make the individual tax cuts permanent, so New Jersey taxpayers can realize meaningful long-term relief.
Bob is a product of Union City Public Schools and was the first in his family to attend college. He believes the path to real economic opportunity begins with a high-quality education and the opportunity to pursue one should not be based on one’s socioeconomic status or zip code. New Jersey has some of the best schools in the nation, but still too many children are left behind. Bob knows that getting a high-quality education means starting off on the right foot. That’s why he supports investment to make high-quality preschool available to every child. Bob also supports investing in our public schools, expanding vocational-technical opportunities, and providing parents and students with choice through charter schools.
Health Care Reform
As a board member of one of the country’s most forward-looking hospital and integrated clinical care systems and the leader of a major biotech company, Bob will be a driving force in the Senate to move us past the divisive partisan fights on health care. As Senator, Bob will promote policies that actually fix the system for patients and doctors, driving down costs, increasing consumer choice, and encouraging innovation.
Bob believes we need to address the increasing inequality of health outcomes and the social and economic issues impacting health care in our communities, while ensuring that high-quality care is accessible, affordable and delivers better value to all Americans. Bob will push for reforms that stop the system from discriminating against the sickest Americans and advocate for making payment systems based on value, performance and evidence-based approaches that provide transparency on cost and patient outcomes.
For the last two decades, Bob’s leadership has resulted in countless breakthroughs in treatment and cures. He will use this expertise to promote policies that incentivize bold experimentation and innovation that can find cures and lower costs.
Getting New Jersey’s Fair Share
New Jersey is currently 50 out of 50 – dead last – in the amount of federal investment we get back from Washington for the tax dollars we send there each year. The new SALT cap only makes it worse. It’s unacceptable. Bob will work across party lines and use his decades of private sector business experience to secure expanded investment in New Jersey’s priorities like transportation infrastructure, our military bases, higher education, healthcare, and beach replenishment.
Jobs & the Economy
As someone who has grown a business and helped to create thousands of good paying jobs right here in New Jersey, Bob understands the need for innovative policies that encourage economic growth and make our state more attractive for employees and employers. New Jersey is a high cost state that is becoming increasingly unaffordable. Millennials – those aged 18 to 34 – are leaving our state at the highest rate in the country, decimating our state’s future workforce.
Seniors and high earners are leaving New Jersey at a rapid pace, taking with them the capital we need to create new enterprises and the tax revenue we need to support critical government functions and charitable giving. The future Bob envisions for New Jersey is a bright one where our economy is growing, businesses small and large are thriving, and people have good paying jobs to support themselves and their families. He will use his decades of experience as a job creator to ensure that New Jersey’s economy is a robust 21st century economy where everyone has the opportunity to succeed and pursue their dreams.
Restoring Honesty & Integrity to Government
Incumbent Senator Bob Menendez has been severely admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee – a rare and bipartisan action taken by the Committee – for violating federal law and abusing his position. His indictment on federal bribery and corruption charges for taking lavish gifts from his convicted felon “best friend” was an embarrassment to New Jersey and underscores the need for raising the ethical standards of our public servants and strengthening anti-corruption laws in our federal government.
Bob Hugin believes that Congress should be held to a higher standard. As Senator, he will not accept any gifts from anyone, nor will he accept a taxpayer-funded salary. He has also committed to putting all of his assets in a blind trust, which will be restricted to investment and mutual funds. Neither he nor the Trustee will have access to any information on any specific investments being made.
Bob will work with non-partisan, good government watchdogs, and honest people on both sides of the aisle to close the loopholes in current law and act to restore faith and trust in our government by making sure corrupt politicians are held accountable and are forced to live by the same laws the rest of us do.
New Jersey’s infrastructure is in dire shape. It’s damaging our economy and our quality of life. In spite of all the federal tax dollars New Jerseyans send to Washington, we are 50 out of 50 in investment back. That means we’re helping support infrastructure in other states while our roads and bridges are crumbling. Bob will fight for projects like Gateway, which includes the Portal North Bridge and Hudson Tunnel projects serving New Jersey, New York City and the entire Northeast Corridor.
Bob has called on President Trump and leaders in both parties to stop the partisan finger-pointing and move these important priorities forward. Bob will be New Jersey’s champion in Washington fighting to make sure our federal tax dollars are invested here to modernize our infrastructure, which will improve our economy, make our roads, bridges and tunnels safer, and create good-paying, high-skill jobs.
There is something wrong when Congress has approval ratings in the teens, but Senate and House incumbents are re-elected upwards of 90% of the time. That is why as Senator, Bob will support and sponsor legislation to pass term limits for both Members of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Gerrymandering and the powers of incumbency have protected ineffective career politicians for too long. In an era of partisan gridlock, Bob believes term limits will encourage more bipartisan cooperation and compromise in Washington by removing the pressure of re-election for a significant number of lawmakers in either party each year.
Bob believes the previous Administration’s unilateral policy shift gave the Castro regime an economic lifeline, while doing little to improve the everyday lives of the Cuban people – for whom Bob has great admiration and respect. Bob would do everything in his power to gain extradition of escaped convict Joanne Chesimard, who was the first woman ever named to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list for the cold-blooded murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster during a routine traffic stop in 1973.
As a Marine, Bob was deployed to South Korea and performed joint military training exercises with the South Korean military called Team Spirit. That experience and the fact that both of his sons are in the Marine Corps today, gives Bob a deep appreciation of the current situation on the Korean peninsula. The Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations all failed when it came to preventing North Korea from building a nuclear arsenal capable of striking our allies and even the United States, which is why Bob supports recent negotiation efforts to achieve denuclearization, peace in the region and a better life for the North Korean people. However, Bob believes that any deal made with North Korea must hold the regime accountable, and their compliance with all terms of the agreement must be continually verified.