Republican Bob Hugin has so far spent $36 million of his personal funds on his effort to unseat U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, the two-term Democrat. All told, the former pharmaceuticals executive has raised $38.9 million, with less than 10 percent of that coming from individual donors, according to data reported to the Federal Election Commission. By contrast, more than 70 percent of the $12 million Menendez has raised is from individual contributors.
Hugin’s generous spending on his campaign has him on several lists of deep-pocketed candidates this year. He is the second biggest self-funder in this year’s congressional elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets website. OpenSecrets also ranked him the fifth biggest overall spender in the nation as of the candidates’ final pre-election reports, filed October 26. And the FEC ranked him as the sixth biggest fundraiser through October 17.
Hugin’s personal spending on the race equals $6.12 per New Jersey registered voter.
Outside interest groups have spent another $20 million on the race. Some $13.1 million of that has been to support Menendez or oppose Hugin, with the majority spent by the Democrats’ Senate Majority PAC tying Hugin to Trump, who is very unpopular in the state. Another $6.3 million was spent against Menendez, nearly all of that by Integrity NJ, a group with ties to former Gov. Chris Christie that has been running ads pounding Menendez’s past ethics troubles and repeating other allegations that have been found to be false.