Democratic legislative candidates have more than double the cash on hand of their counterparts in the GOP as they head into campaign season, according to the latest reports from the Election Law Enforcement Commission.
With one month until the primary and six months until the general election, Democratic candidates have raised more than $15.4 million, and spent more than $7.8 million, leaving them $7.7 million on hand.
By contrast, GOP legislative candidates have raised just over $7 million and spent $3.3 million, leaving them a war chest of $3.6 million.
In the gubernatorial contest, Gov. Chris Christie holds more than triple the reserves of his presumptive Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono.
To date, Christie has raised nearly $6.2 million to Buono’s $1.87 million. According to the latest report, Christie has spent nearly $2.7 million of his haul, leaving him $3.4 million on hand. Since the report was filed, Christie purchased $800,000 in television air time, putting his cash on hand at about $2.5 million.
Buono has spent about $777,000, leaving her 1.1 million on hand.
Incumbents hold a huge advantage in cash on hand with $10.9 million against just $486,000 on hand for challengers.
In the Legislature, fundraising is about on par with 2011, when, like this year, every seat in the Legislature was up for election.
On the gubernatorial front, fundraising is off about 20 percent from this period in 2009, while spending is off more than 40 percent. Christie had a hard-fought primary against former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan that year, while this year Buono is uncontested in the primary.