Zimmer starts to dig out of fundraising hole

Dick Zimmer has some catching up to do.

Across the board, fundraising figures for New Jersey’s Republican candidates for federal office look bleak, and Zimmer’s are no exception: he has about $411,000 cash on hand to go up against Frank Lautenberg, who has $1.3 million after a primary fight with Rep. Rob Andrews.

Zimmer has put $300,000 of his own money into the race. After a press conference today on an unrelated topic, Zimmer wouldn’t say whether he plans to put any more of his own money in.

“I have no comment on that,” Zimmer said. “What I have said is that I can’t self-fund.”

Lautenberg can, however.

But Zimmer is optimistic about his numbers, having started his campaign in the middle of a contentious Republican primary against State Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Ramapo College professor Murray Sabrin. During the primary, he had to rely on phone calls to raise cash. Now he’s got a summer of fundraisers planned, including one at the end of the month in Washington, hosted by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“I’m encouraged by the kind of money I was able to raise in the primary when I began at a standing start. I had no balance. No account. No call lists,” said Zimmer. “Unlike some people formerly in politics, I wasn’t keeping my potential contributor stuff up to date because I wasn’t expecting to ever run for office again.”

And although he doesn’t have any solid monetary commitments from the cash strapped national party, the fundraiser is officially sanctioned by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Zimmer starts to dig out of fundraising hole