Democratic Assembly candidates have raised and spent more than twice as much as Republicans, according to a press release from the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
Democrats in the state’s 40 legislative districts have raised a total of $6.8 million and spent $4 million so far, while Republicans have raised $2.9 million and spent $1.2 million.
Democrats also lead in cash on hand, with $2.7 million left over to Republicans’ $1.6 million.
All 80 assembly seats are up this year, but only a few districts are considered competitive.
ELEC Executive Director Jeff Brindle said the numbers were a significant drop off from this same point in the 2005 – the last year that saw gubernatorial and assembly races. In all, there has been a 21% drop in fundraising and a 19% reduction in spending, according to Brindle.
At this point in 2005, Assembly candidates had raised $12.2 million and spent $6.4 million. This year they have raised a combined $9.7 million and spent $5.2 million.
“Not only does the reduction in Assembly financial activity follow the trend highlighted in the Governor’s race, but it corroborates a trend first noted in two previous Commission reports analyzing the legislative elections in 2005 and 2007,” said Brindle. “In those reports, was shown that the increase in financial activity slowed to just five percent over previous years, the smallest ever. Now, we see financial activity actually decreasing.”
Brindle said the decrease is due to the economic recession, new pay-to-play restrictions and money being siphoned off for the gubernatorial contest (in 2005, both Jon Corzine and Doug Forrester largely self-funded their campaigns).
PolitickerNJ.com will report a breakdown of the fundraising numbers by legislative district as soon as they're available.