In the district Republicans believe they have the best chance of turning over this year, the two GOP Assembly candidates have raised about half of what the two Democratic incumbents have.
In District 1, Assemblymen Matt Milam (D-Vineland) and Nelson Albano (D-Vineland) have raised $555,723* and spent $521,122. Republican Michael Donohue – who narrowly lost to the two Democrats in 2007 — and running mate John McCann have raised $199,206 in their joint account and spent $150,558. Donohue and McCann each have individual campaign accounts with a little bit of additional money in them — $9,500 additional on hand for Donohue and $1,400 more on hand for McCann.
Milam and Albano have $34,601 on hand (they finished up an uncontested primary with $83,040 on hand), while Donohue and McCann have $48,647 left over.
Fundraising numbers for the two Assembly leadership committees, which are expected to play heavily in District 1, have not yet been released.
Republicans are particularly optimistic about their chances in the district because state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis), a popular moderate Democrat whose coattails helped Albano and Milam win in 2007, will not be on the ballot. The Democrats also have to contend with a Governor at the top of the ticket who is said to be unpopular there, and they have spent a significant amount of time emphasizing their independence from him.
“They have a huge advantage, number one as incumbents but number two because they have the Camden County machine behind them,” said Donohue. “But we’re going to raise enough to get our message out and be effective.”
Donohue said that state Republicans have told him that his district is their “number one priority.”
“We expect their support to be very significant,” he said.
Note: The article originally stated Albano and Milam have raised $472,683. That is the number cited on their report, but ELEC’s compilation puts the total at $555,723.