Elected Officials Reveal Personal Favorites by Doling Out Cash

Documents reveal leaders dousing favored candidates by sharing their warchests

Scott Rumana.
Scott Rumana. PolitickerNJ file photo

The quarterly Form R-1 reports that officeholders are required to fill out are packed with clues about political alliances and priorities

Looking at the form Judge Scott Rumana filed, for example, is very telling. Just before Rumana resigned his Assembly seat last October to get sworn in as a Superior Court Judge, he gave away his entire $167,000 campaign warchest. Some of the money (about $17,000) went to non-profit charitable organizations, but most of it ($135,000) got recycled back into the hands of his Republican colleagues. He sent $20,000 to the Assembly Republican Victory Committee, $25,000 to the Passaic County Republicans, $9,500 to the Bergen County GOP, $5,000 to the Morris County GOP, $2,500 to the Republican State Committee, and $5,000 to the Essex County GOP.

Rumana also sent money to all of his Assembly colleagues: Minority Leader Jon Bramnick got $8,200, Conference Leader Dave Rible got $5,000, and the rest each got $1,000 — with one exception: Rumana gave $2,600 to Declan O’Scanlon and just $1,000 to Amy Handlin. Perhaps that’s circumstantial evidence of a Rumana endorsement in the 13th district Senate race between O’Scanlon and Handlin, both of whom are seeking to fill the big shoes of Joe Kyrillos. All the checks were cut on October 17 — three days before the Senate confirmed his nomination.

Another interesting report comes via Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan, who is likely headed to the State Senate in January to fill Raymond Lesniak’s 20th district seat. He has $80,000 in his Sheriff’s re-election campaign account, according to his most recent ELEC report. He is entitled to transfer all of that to his Senate campaign, if he likes. Nevertheless, Cryan doled out $38,000 in campaign contributions last fall and more than half of it outside Union County.

The biggest recipients were Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty ($4,000), aka Mr. Maggie Moran, who ran unsuccessfully for Monmouth Freeholder; another $4,000 to Monmouth County Democrats, $4,000 to the Monroe Township (Middlesex) Democrats, and $2,250 to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and his council slate.  Cryan’s most interesting donor: former GOP Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino, a close ally of Gov. Chris Christie.

Elected Officials Reveal Personal Favorites by Doling Out Cash