Republican fundraising has risen slightly over the past four years, while Democratic donations are in freefall, according to figures provided by the Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Since 2006, GOP contributions to county parties have risen 5 percent to just over $3 million, while over the same period, Democrats have seen fundraising totals fall 50 percent to $4.5 million. In 2006, the gap between county party fundraising stood at three to one in favor of Democrats. The latest totals show that gap has narrowed to 1.5 to one.
In total, county parties raised $7.6 million and spent $8.2 million in the last cycle, leaving them a combined $1.2 million on hand.
The state’s 21 Democratic county parties raised $4.5 million, while dipping into reserves to spend a combined $5.8 million, leaving $246,000 on hand with the mid-terms and a host of county and local elections just over 9 months away.
Republicans raised $3 million for the cycle and spent $2.9, leaving over $900,000 on hand.
Bergen County took the honors for the most money spent and raised as elections for Sheriff, county executive and freeholder drew statewide focus.
In all, the two parties raised $1.7 million and spent $1.68 million. Though they lost heavily in the county last November, Democrats more than doubled the fundraising of their opponents, pulling in $1.2 million to the GOP’s $500,000. Both parties spent nearly every penny they brought in but Republicans clearly got more for their money as they took the county executive seat, the sheriff’s office as well as control of the freeholder board.
Statewide, the Burlington County Republicans maintain the healthiest balance sheet with $584,240 on hand, followed by the Passaic County Democrats with $339,000 on hand.
Hudson Democrats are in the worst financial shape statewide, carrying a negative balance of $272,348, followed by the Burlington Democrats who are carrying a debt of $115,000.
The Gloucester Democrats, who took a beating in November, also carry a debt on the books as do the Monmouth Democrats and the Hunterdon and Mercer Republicans. Mercer Republicans are embroiled in an internal feud as they attempt to remove Chairman Roy Wesley. Last week, the county party voted to amend its constitution to allow for the removal of the chairman. A vote is expected sometime next month.
Election Law Enforcement Commission Chairman Jeff Brindle said the reduced fundraising is the result of several factors.
“These include tighter restrictions on donations by contractors; the recession; the departure of former Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, who gave heavily to county parties during the past decade; and the proliferation of political action committees (PACs) that compete for limited fundraising dollars,’’ he said.
See all county fundriasing totals here: