County party committees raise nearly $1.1 million in three months

With legislative campaigns looming this fall, county party committees jointly have $1.0 million in reserve after raising nearly $1.1 million during the first three months of 2011, according to quarterly reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Reports show Democrats outraised Republicans during the quarter, but GOP committees reported a higher net worth, meaning cash-on-hand adjusted for debts owed to or by the committee.  Numbers should be treated as preliminary because four county party committees had yet to file reports through 5 p.m. Friday, April 29.  Some spending totals are higher than fundraising totals because committees have dipped into reserves, or taken out short-term loans.

Democratic Party county committees showed expenditures through March 31 of $544,888, cash on hand of $790,265, and a net worth of $274,946.  By comparison, Republican Party county committees showed expenditures through March 31 of $563,587, cash on hand of $351,556, and net worth of $694,349.

According to ELEC, when compared to four years ago, that last time all of the Legislative seats were up, fundraising is down, with the Democrats experiencing a larger drop than the GOP.

“There’s no question about it: the economy and pay-to-play have made it more difficult for county chairs to raise money,’’ ELEC Executive Director Jeff Brindle said.