With legislative primaries just days away, Democrats have outraised Republicans two to one over the past few weeks and maintain more than double the cash on hand, according to the most recent campaign finance reports filed this week.
Between May 6 and May 24, Democrats raised nearly $1.4 million compared to just under $700,000 by Republican candidates. Democrats also spent $1.5 million during that time period, twice the amount Republicans laid out during that period.
In all, Democrats have raked in more than $20.6 million for the campaign cycle compared to $10.5 million by GOP candidates.
Democrats maintain more than $8.6 million on hand versus just over $4.2 million for Republicans.
Incumbents hold a huge fundraising edge over challengers, raising a whopping $28.7 million during the campaign cycle, versus just over $2.4 million for challengers. The incumbents maintain $11.7 million on hand while challengers hold just $1.2 million.
The edge to incumbents is not surprising given that some have been raising money for four years and have carried over money from past campaigns. Most challengers just began raising money over the past two months.
“Traditionally, incumbents save a significant portion of the funds raised during primary campaigns for the general election,’’ said Election Law Enforcement Commission Executive Director Jeff Brindle.
The largest fundraising haul came in the 20th Legislative district where incumbent Democrats Ray Lesniak, Annette Quijano and Joe Cryan are facing a primary challenge from Elizabeth Schools Assistant Superintendent Jerome Dunn and running mates Tony Monteiro and Elizabeth Councilman Carlos Cedeno.
In all, the Lesniak team has brought in $174,000 in a joint committee account. In addition, Lesniak raised $78,000 individually and Cryan has raised $73,400. The team headed by Dunn has taken in $122,711.
Top 10 fundraisers for the period
1. Lesniak, Cryan, Quijano Joint Account $174,000
2. Senator Brian Stack $136,983
3. Dunn, Cedeno, Monteiro Joint Account $122,711
4. Senator Anthony Bucco $88,465
5. Senator Raymond Lesniak $77,775
6. Assemblyman Joseph Cryan $74,388
7. Senator James Whelan $65,495
8. Ravi S. Bhalla $62,266
9. Assemblyman Vincent J. Polistina $57,490
10. Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo $43,287