Nearly $53 million raised so far this election season; outside groups already making their mark

Gov. Chris Christie has raised nearly $6.9 million to date in his bid for re-election, while his opponent, Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono has raised just over $2.9 million according to the latest campaign finance figures released today.

The nearly $10 million raised in the gubernatorial contest lags well behind the 2009 race, when Christie and Republican challenger Steve Lonegan along with Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine raised more than $13 million for the gubernatorial primary.

This year’s gubernatorial haul is just under 20 percent of the overall $52.8 million raised by all candidates and outside groups so far this election season.  That number is nearly double the amount raised by this time in 2009 and includes some $15 million raised by outside groups – more than the total amount spent by those types of organizations in the 2009 race.

To date, legislative candidates have raised some $28 million and spent just over $22 million. That number is well off the $34 million raised by this time in 2011, the last time all 120 seats in the Legislature were up for election.

Outside spending is led by the Committee for our Children’s Future, an outside group founded by friends of Gov. Chris Christie that has so far raised and spent $7.8 million this election season.

One New Jersey, which has put out a series of ads attacking the governor’s policies, has so far raised and spent $2.8 million, while the Republican Governor’s Association has spent about $1.7 million in the state.

The Fund for Jobs, Growth and Security, a Democratic group that earlier this year sued the state Election Law Enforcement Commission seeking to overturn contribution limits, has raised and spent $1.75 million so far this election season.

Garden State Forward, a PAC run by the state’s largest teachers union – The New Jersey Education Association – has so far raised and spent about $584,000, according to the report from ELEC.

Nearly $53 million raised so far this election season; outside groups already making their mark