Home>Campaigns>Rizzo raises just $57,683 for congressional run

Phil Rizzo. (Photo: Rizzo for Governor.)

Rizzo raises just $57,683 for congressional run

Ex-gubernatorial candidate challenging Kean, Peterson for GOP nod to take on Malinowski

By David Wildstein, February 01 2022 10:24 am

Phil Rizzo, a former pastor and real estate developer whose candidacy for governor last year briefly caught fire as a sort of a Steve Lonegan of the 2020s, raised just $57,683 for his congressional bid in New Jersey’s 7th district.

He has held on to most of his cash, reporting expenditures of only $287.

After initially joining the 11th district race to take on Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) in December, Rizzo switched to the 7th district, where Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) is seeking re-election.

Now he faces a primary fight against front-runner Thomas Kean, the former minority leader of the New Jersey State Senate.  Kean has raised $1,151,783 and has $933,017 cash-on-hand, along with the support of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-Franklin), one of the most conservative members of the New Jersey Legislature, entered the race in January and is not required to file his campaign fundraising report until April.

John Henry Isemann, a 27-year-old businessman and humanitarian relief worker who entered the race in November, has raised $75,954 but had already spent nearly half of it.  He’s got $38,204 cash-on-hand to start the year.  Fredon Mayor John Flora, who switched from a race against Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) to a Malinowski challenge after redistricting, appears to have not yet hit the $5,000 threshold to necessitate the disclosure of his campaign finances.

Summit businessman Rob Trugman, who ran for Congress in 1982 and 2020, is now out of money after spending $23,381.  Two others, Sterling Irwin Schwab, a U.S. Navy veteran from Flemington who works as an account executive for a freight company, and Kevin Dorlon, a licensed public works contractor from Long Valley, did not enter the race until last month and were not required to file by January 31.

Rizzo had raised $655,282 for his gubernatorial bid last year, winning 25.7% for a second place finish in the GOP primary.  He came literally within one day of qualifying for matching funds.

Malinowski posted exceptional fundraising numbers for the fourth quarter of 2021.  He raised $903,272 and $3,638,160 for the year.  The two-term Democratic congressman has $2,748,801 cash-on-hand.

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