Guadagno Gets First Infusion of Public Matching Funds

Kim Guadagno (left). Kevin B. Sanders for Observer

Kim Guadagno has received her first batch of public matching funds, taking in $708,144 for her campaign for governor, the state’s election watchdog agency announced Friday.

The Republican gubernatorial nominee significantly trails Democrat Phil Murphy, who has received more than $1.8 million in public matching funds so far, according to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Murphy got a second tranche worth $667,132 after submitting more funds this week, ELEC said in a news release Friday. Murphy was the first general election candidate to get public matching funds when he took in nearly $1.2 million last week.

With the public funds, Murphy has $2.7 million and Guadagno has $1 million in total.

Gubernatorial candidates can get two dollars in matching funds for every one dollar raised, capped at $9.3 million. To qualify, candidates must raise $430,000 on their own and must limit their spending to $13.8 million. Although Guadagno has received $708,000 in matching funds, which would suggest she has raised only $354,000 on her own, there are lags sometimes between the time donations come in and ELEC verifies them for matching funds disbursements.

Murphy, an ex-Goldman Sachs executive, did not seek public matching funds in the primary and poured $16.3 million of his own money into the race, overwhelming his opponents in what became one of the most expensive gubernatorial primaries in state history. Guadagno Gets First Infusion of Public Matching Funds