New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) Executive Director Jeffrey Brindle confirmed today that candidates who have not filed a lieutenant governor are not eligible to receive matching funds.
Although he raised the $340,000 necessary to qualify for two-for-one matching funds from the state and was approved by ELEC, independent gubernatorial candidate Chris Daggett has not yet received the money because he has yet to choose a running mate.
The problem is that, in order to receive public funds, state law requires both the gubernatorial candidate and his or her running mate to file paperwork with ELEC stating that they are willing to participate in the required public debates and disclosing whether they’ve ever been involved in an issue advocacy organization.
“The law says that both [candidates] – governor and lieutenant governor – must file these reports before receiving funds,” said Brindle. “We’re very protective of public money.”
It remains unclear whether gubernatorial candidates can still run if they have not picked a running mate by the Monday deadline. The Secretary of State's office has yet to make the determination.
"Right now it's a hypothetical question and it will need further legal review," said spokeswoman Susan Evans.