Independent spending breaks all-time high in state and gubernatorial races

Independent spending on state campaigns has already broken records ahead of November’s election that’s still weeks away, according to the Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Initial reports on general election financial activity indicate independent spending has reached $21 million. The figure includes money that has poured into the state’s gubernatorial and legislative races.

“Even with the election still weeks away, independent spending in state campaigns already has hit an all-time high of $21 million not including ballot questions,” said ELEC’s executive director, Jeff Brindle, in a statement. “That compares to the previous high of $14.1 million spent in 2009 mostly on the gubernatorial election.”

Independent groups also pumped some of the most funding into some of the state’s key battleground districts.

District 14 tops the list in spending through Oct. 7 with more than $1.8 million being spent in the district where former GOP Sen. Pete Inverso is attempting to oust sitting Democratic Sen. Linda Greenstein.

LD 38 ranks second with nearly $1.8 million spent since Oct. 7, followed by Senate President Steve Sweeney’s district witnessing an influx of nearly the same amount.

More than $1.3 million was spent in LD 18 and more than $1.2 million was spent in LD 2.

Nearly $1.6 million has been spent on statewide ballot questions with most of the funding coming from groups opposed to a plan to raise the state’s minimum wage.

Some of the state’s biggest funders are Committee for Our Children’s Future, which spent $7.8 million in the gubernatorial race; Garden State Forward (New Jersey Education Association), which spent nearly $4.7 million; and One New Jersey, which spent $2.8 million.

Independent spending breaks all-time high in state and gubernatorial races