County Party fundraising is off 29 percent from four years ago, the last time there was a governor’s race in the state.
In the first quarter of 2013, Democratic and Republican county committees combined raised $957,000, compared with $1.3 million four years ago. GOP county committees suffered the largest drop with fundraising falling by nearly a third since 2009. Democrats were off by 26 percent.
So far this year, Democratic county committees have brought in $553,744 compared to $403,000 by the GOP.
Bergen County Democrats lead all county parties in fundraising during the first three months of the year with $97,000 raised, followed by the Passaic County Democrats at $84,867. The totals drop off heavily from there with the Camden County Democrats raising $57,000 during the first quarter.
For the GOP, the Burlington County Republicans led the charge with $80,000 raised, followed by the Monmouth County Republicans at $57,000.
The numbers continue a trend seen since 2006 when anti-pay-to-play laws were enacted, according to Jeff Brindle, executive director of the Election Law Enforcement Commission.
“The downward trend in county party receipts paints a stark contrast to the 1990’s and the early part of the previous decade when county organizations were the kingpins of the electoral landscape,” he said.
In all, the state’s 21 county committees maintain $1.45 million on hand for the coming election season.
Democrats hold the vast majority of that wealth at $1.1 million while the GOP committees hold just $263,000 on hand.
While four Democratic county party committees – Essex, Gloucester, Passaic, and Union – reported cash reserves larger than $100,000, none of their GOP counterparts came close to that amount on hand.
Three Democratic committees, Hudson, Monmouth and Burlington, reported a negative net worth, while none of the Republican committees dropped into the red.