DELRAN, NJ (CBS) — A retired North Jersey pharmaceutical executive has announced he’ll challenge New Jersey senior Sen. Bob Menendez’s bid for a third term in Washington.

Bob Hugin chose a VFW hall in Burlington County to make his South Jersey announcement, in front of some 100 supporters.

He’s probably best known in political circles for his financial contributions to Chris Christie and Donald Trump’s presidential runs. More to the point, this campaign will be largely self-funded, and Hugin is taking Menendez on with no holds barred.

“New Jersey deserves a senator as good as its people, not working to stay one step ahead of the law,” Hugin told KYW Newsradio.

img 0322 Retired Businessman Enters Race To Replace NJ Sen. Bob Menendez

Credit: David Madden

That’s a clear reference to Menendez’s corruption case recently dismissed by federal prosecutors.

Hugin suggests Menendez has stood on the sidelines as important issues like tax cuts and health care were being debated in Washington.

Hugin also pledged to be an independent voice in the U.S. Senate.

“If Gov. Murphy or Sen. Booker or any other Democrat have a good idea, I promise you I will stand up and support them” he added. “And at the same time, if President Trump or any Republican has a view or an idea or a plan that’s not good for New Jersey, I will stand up and disagree with them.”

Hugin declined to answer media questions after his announcement.