Bob Hugin has consistently claimed to be a “different kind of Republican,” who supports marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose.
But campaign-finance and nonprofit records — as well as Hugin’s past rhetoric — tell a different story.
Hugin, now running to unseat Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and his wife, Kathleen, have contributed more than $570,000 in the last decade to various anti-abortion and anti-LGBT candidates and organizations across the country, the records show.
One of them is Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., a member of the Pro-Life Caucus and a leading anti-choice legislator, who said in 2015 he does “not construe homosexual rights as human rights.”
The Hugins donated $10,800 to Smith in this current election cycle alone.
Hugin has also donated thousands of dollars to former Reps. Scott Garrett of New Jersey ($10,300), Eric Cantor of Virginia ($5,000) and Ann Marie Buerkle of New York ($9,800) as well as Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming ($5,400) and Roy Blunt of Missouri ($5,000).
He also contributed $17,300 to Rep. Leonard Lance and $5,400 to Rep. Tom MacArthur, both from New Jersey, and $5,000 to Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
All have opposed same-sex marriage and abortion rights.
In 2015, Garrett threatened to withhold campaign contributions to the National Republican Congressional Committee because it had recruited gay candidates and supported them in primaries, Politico reported at the time.
This year, Hugin’s own history of discrimination was unearthed.
While a student and later as a trustee at Princeton University, Hugin fought vigorously to prevent women from joining the all-male dining clubs on campus and worked to keep homosexual students from being protected by the university’s discrimination, Politico reported in July.
Last month, Hugin issued a statement saying he was “proud” that his views had “evolved over the four decades” since he was in college.
“My record as a forward-looking leader and champion for equality in business stands on its own and puts you to shame,” he wrote in July in a tweet directed to Menendez.
However, as a business executive in New Jersey, Hugin’s family charity — the Hugin Family Foundation — donated $505,800 to the Heritage Foundation, one of the most prominent anti-choice and anti-LGBT organizations in the country. The foundation donated a majority of that money in 2013, the year the Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to limit marriage to heterosexual couples.
Hugin has also promoted himself as a moderate Republican in favor of “comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform, calling President Donald Trump’s family-separation policy “unconscionable” and “the wrong thing to do.”
One of Hugin’s major donors, the Liberty & Prosperity PAC, is primarily funded by American defense contractors like General Dynamics, who assisted in taking minors away from their parents. General Dynamics also has a contract to develop border-wall prototypes.
Hugin has also been publicly supportive of DACA recipients, saying “people who are building a constructive and productive life in America should have a pathway to citizenship.”
But the Heritage Foundation opposes any legal path to citizenship for anyone who is undocumented and has said that DACA recipients do not have the “basic English language skills and educational requirements to be successful members of society.”