The Bridgewater Courier-News recently got wind of an overlooked story.
Bridgewater Councilman Michael Hsing, who cast his lot in with many other candidates in the 7th District Republican congressional primary, is running in the general election as an independent. And as of the last Federal Election Commission filing, he had more cash-on-hand than the Republican nominee, State Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington).
Hsing, who’s served on the Bridgewater council for seven years, failed to make a dent in the primary, and decided to forego the nominating convention of his home county of Somerset. Lance, now the Republican nominee, won. Back then, PolitickerNJ’s Max Pizarro reported on rumors swirling about an independent Hsing bid, since he refused to endorse any of the other candidates. At the time, Hsing said “that will be determined and disclosed later.”
Democrats today used the story to rub Lance’s nose in his lackluster fundraising numbers. Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood), the Democrats’ nominee, has approximately $1.2 million on hand. Lance had roughly $80,000 to Hsing’s $91,000.
“This is a blow to Lance’s political strength and his ability to win in November. The severe imbalance in funding and support is another bad sign for Mr Lance’s fate against Linda Stender,” said Democratic State Chairman Joe Cryan. “Not only is he being far out raised by Stender, he’s also being out raised by a former member of his own party. Even fellow Republicans recognize that Leonard Lance offers more of the same failed policies of the Bush Administration, not the change people are eager for.”
Lance has raised much more money than Hsing, amassing $485,000 in total, but he had to spend most of it in the primary, when he faced a well-funded challenge from Kate Whitman. Hsing dropped out of the primary before the filling deadline.
Lance Campaign Manager Amanda Woloshen cited an internal poll that showed Lance running ahead of Stender.
“Linda Stender is a big spender who has voted repeatedly to raise taxes,” she said. “That’s why she’s down in the polls, because this dodging, dancing and spinning by her political bosses will not change the facts.”