TRENTON – One of the so-called battleground districts, the Third, home to Senate President Steve Sweeney, is showing the Democrats outraising and outspending the Republican team in the 29-day pre-election reports issued Tuesday.
Sweeney was rankled earlier this year when the Republicans made it clear they were including his back yard as one of the districts they felt could be won in an attempt to retake control of the upper chamber.
But the spending in the latest report doesn’t necessarily show that same intensity as the campaigns move through the final weeks.
According to the 29-day report from the Election Law Enforcement Commission, Sweeney received $1,057,831, spent $511,245, and has a closing balance of $546,587.
By comparison, his GOP challenger, Niki Trunk, received $174,882, spent $164,516, and closed with $10,366.
Also in the tabulations is the joint committee for the Democratic incumbents Sweeney/John Burzichelli/Celeste Riley.
For the 29-day pre-election filing, that group took in $1,242,295, spent $801,631, and closed with $440,664.
The challengers’ committee of Trunk/Bob Vanderslice/Larry Wallace took in $76,578, spent $48,644 and closed with $27,934.
In general, however, spending on the 40 district legislative races has been concentrated in the 10 districts ELEC identified as battleground districts – including the Third.
“Of the $15.7 million spent to date by legislative candidates, $11.7 million has taken place in those ten
districts, most of which have been announced as targets by the two major political parties,’’ ELEC head Jeff Brindle said in a release accompanying the report.
Looking at parties’ combined total fundraising and expenditures through Oct. 7, the Third District tops the 10 battleground districts in total fundraising at $2,877,883. In second place is the 14th District, at $2,085,791. Those are the only two “battleground” districts to clear $2 million in total amount of fundraising for this ELEC report.
In terms of overall expenditures in the Third, however, that district placed third behind the 14th and 38th districts, at $1,785,507.