Republican Bob Hugin challenges incumbent Robert Menendez, a Democrat, for one of New Jersey’s two seats in the United States Senate.
Hugin, 63, is best known as a former executive of pharmacuetical company Celgene. He earned his bachelor’s from Princeton University, and after serving active duty in the United States Marine Corps for seven years, earned a MBA from the Unviersity of Virginia. Hugin joined J.P. Morgan in 1985, rising to managing director. Then, in 1999, Celgene hired Hugin as its CFO. He eventually became the company’s president and COO, and then, later, CEO and chiarman of its executive board. He retired in 2017.
Menendez, 64, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2006, and is ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has served as a school board member, a mayor and a state legislator. From 1993 to 2006, Menendez represented his district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He received his bachelor’s degree from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City and his law degree from Rutgers University. Menendez made headlines in 2015 after being indicted on federal corruption charges. The trial ended in a hung jury and a mistrial last November, and in January, the Justice Department announced they were dropping all charges against Menendez. He currently lives in Harrison.
Republican Congressman Chris Smith faces a challenge from Democrat Josh Welle for the New Jersey 4th Congressional District’s seat in the United States House of Representatives. The winner gets a two-year term.
Smith, 65, the Republican incumbent, is seeking his 20th term in Congress. He first won his seat in 1980 at age 27. Smith is a graduate of The College of New Jersey. He is the senior member of the congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs, chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights (Chairman), a member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, co-chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the co-chairman of the Congressional Executive Commission on China. He is co-chairman of a number caucuses, including ones on Alzheimer’s, autism research and education, human trafficking, Lyme Disease and the pro-life movement.
Welle, a Rumson resident and Wall native, received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the United States Naval Academy, master’s degree in international relations and business administration from the University of Maryland and a master’s in public affairs from Harvard University. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he served in Japan, Liberia, Afghanistan and Bahrain.
Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders
Six candidates are running for three three-year terms on the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders: incumbent Democrats Ann M. Cannon, Pasquale “Pat” Colavita and Samuel T. Frisby, and Republicans Michael Silvestri, Mary R. Walker and Cynthia Larsen.
Cannon is an East Windsor resident who has served on the freeholder board since 1995. She previously served on the East Windsor Township Council from 1990 to 1994. Cannon is the former president and member of the Twin Rivers Lake Condominuium Board of Directors, a former member of the East Windsor Planning Board, the former president and assistant firector of Hightstown-East Windsor Business and Professional Women, a member of the Hightstown-East Windsor League of Women Voters, and a member of the Interfaith Caregivers of Greater Mercer County advisory board.
Colavita, a Lawrence resident, is a retired speech and language therapist. He has been a county freeholder since 2004. He previously served in various positions on the Lawrence Township Board of Education and as mayor and deputy mayor of Lawrence Township. Colavita is a member of the Ewing-Lawrence Sewage Authority, a member of the CONTACT board of directors, a member os the Heart to Hearts executive board, and the cho-chair of many local fundraisers and events.
Frisby is a Trenton resident and the CEO of the Capital Area YMCA. He has been a freeholder since 2011 and previously served as Trenton’s director of recreation from 2003 to 2007 and the Trenton receration department director from 2007 to 2010. Frisby is a member of the Statewide MLK Commission, a founding member of the Howard University Alumni Association, a Leadership Trenton Alumni fellow, music minister, a member of the Trinity Health board of directors, a board member of the United Progress board of directors, and the co-chair of the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids. He has previously served on the Trenton Museum Board, the Artworks Board, the Weed and Seed Steering Committee, the State Museum Board, and many others.
Silvestri is a Trenton resident who previously ran for mayor of the city. He has a bachelor’s degree in polical science, and he works as a senior network technician at IBM. Walker is a Hamilton resident, and Larsen is a Princeton resident.
Democrat Nina D. Melker is running unopposed for an unexpired one-year term on the freeholder board. She has been serving as a freeholder since being appointed in September to fill a vacancy created by Anthony Verrelli’s resignation. Verrelli now serves as a state assemblyman for the 15th Legislative District.
Melker has been in the banking industry for the past 38 years with a range of experience in retail and lending. Melker currently works as a private banker with Berkshire Bank. A Hamilton resident, Melker is well-known in the community for her service on the boards and committees of community groups. Among them are RWJ Barnabas Hamilton Foundation, the Foundation of St. Lawrence Rehabilitation and Morris Hall, Mercer County Community College, Frances Clark School of Pedagogy, Hamilton Education Foundation, Kidsbridge, Ryan’s Quest, Iron Mike Foundation and Miracle League of Mercer County.