Two dozen congressional candidates from New Jersey combined to spend nearly $57.3 million this cycle, with only one House seat changing hands — and with Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) scoring a double-digit win and still having more than $13.7 million remaining in his campaign warchest.
The top fundraiser this cycle was Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes), who lost to Republican Tom Kean in the 7th district after raising $8,978,756 and spending $9,993,912. Kean, the former State Senate minority leader, raised $4,383,743 and spent $4,337,880.
But those numbers don’t tell the full story. Two Republican committees – the Congressional Leader Fund and the National Republican Congressional Committee – spent over $4.6 million to boost Kean, while their counterparts, the House Majority PAC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – spent about $1.4 million in Malinowski.
Gottheimer, the Human Fundraising Machine, raised $8,166,128 and spent $2,812,212 to win his fourth term in NJ-5. His cash-on-hand is $13,703,015.
Those numbers also paint a complete picture: on top of his own campaign, Gottheimer also raised over $5 million for Democratic candidates.
His Republican opponent, former investment banker Frank Pallotta, raised just $915,578 and spent $906,978. Pallotta turned out to be a weak fundraiser, unable to convince his top donor – himself – to loosen his own purse strings. He spent just $230,000 of his own money this year, much less than the $1.4 million he put in to his 2020 bid to oust Gottheimer.
Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown), who has emerged as a formidable fundraiser during his three House races, raised $7,127,061 and spent $7,445,077 to win an 11-point victory against Republican Bob Healey in the 3rd district.
Healey raised $4,646,501 — $2.76 million of it was self-funded – and spent $4,586,050. That doesn’t include almost $2.3 million from a super PAC, Garden State Advance; Healey’s mother donated $2 million.
This was the third time Kim has faced a self-funder.
In the 11th district, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) raised $6,302,937 this cycle and spent $8,666,726 to win re-election by a whopping 19-point margin.
Her Republican rival, former Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Paul DeGroot, raised $710,058 and spent $679,374. He put $456,521 of his own money in the race.
One race that turned out to be closer-than-expected was the 9th district, where Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) was re-elected by ten points against Republican Billy Prempeh. Pascrell raised $1576,186 and spent $1,544,431. Prempeh raised $292,879 and spent $271,289.
Sherrill and Kim will need to replenish warchests they depleted in anticipation of the 2022 red wave that never quite arrived.
Sherrill used money she banked from 2020 for this year and had $767,932 cash-on-hand as of November 28. Kim’s post-election bank balance as $233,818.
As the congressman-elect from NJ-7, Kean is already at the top of the Democratic target list for 2024. He had $137,102 cash-on-hand, as of the end of last month.