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Former Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Paul DeGroot. (Photo: Paul DeGroot).

11th district Republicans continue to struggle with fundraising

Three top challengers to Sherrill relied on self-funding to boost totals

By Joey Fox, April 15 2022 12:36 pm

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair)’s three top Republican challengers all had a rough time raising money in 2022’s first quarter, raising a collective total of $264,262, including $181,771 in self-funding. Sherrill raised raised $824,000 during the same period, giving the two-term congresswoman a 3-1 advantage over all of her opponents combined.

Morris County Commissioner Tayfun Selen, considered the frontrunner after winning the county line in Morris and Essex Counties, reported raising exactly $70,000, which included a $20,000 loan from himself. That’s better than his $18,000 fourth quarter last year, but is still a major drop from his $141,000 third quarter, when he launched his campaign.

Thanks to near-nonexistent levels of spending, Selen still has $195,066 left in cash on hand – though that’s still dwarfed by Sherrill’s $5.5 million warchest.

Based on money raised from donors, U.S. Army veteran Toby Anderson and former Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Paul DeGroot both trailed Selen, with Anderson raising $21,180 and DeGroot $16,686. But both put large sums of their own money into their campaigns: DeGroot gave himself $106,397 and Anderson $50,000.

Including self-funding, DeGroot was the primary’s top fundraiser at $123,083, followed by Anderson at $71,180.

Two other candidates, farmer Ruth McAndrew and real estate consultant Alex Halter, are also running, but both launched their campaigns just this month and neither have filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Republican state committeeman Larry Casha, attorney Larry Friscia, and former Ridgefield Park Councilman Robert Kovic had active campaigns earlier this year, but all three dropped their own bids after failing to get the line in Morris County. 

Even if Selen or one of his rivals had a more successful fundraising quarter, it might not have made much difference. The 11th district, once a Republican stronghold, swung to Democrats in the Trump era and was made even more Democratic by the congressional redistricting process.

This story was significantly updated at 5:44 p.m. to reflect each candidate’s self-funding totals, which were erroneously excluded from the original story. It was updated again at 1:01 p.m. on April 16 to correct a further error  that had switched DeGroot’s and Anderson’s reports with one another; DeGroot was the quarter’s top fundraiser, not Anderson.

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