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New Jersey Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Steinhardt had huge fundraising haul before ending gubernatorial bid

Ex-GOP State Chairman raised $317k in three weeks

By David Wildstein, January 28 2021 5:13 pm

Doug Steinhardt raised a genuinely impressive $316,974 during the first three weeks of his campaign for governor and was on his way to qualifying for matching funds before he unexpectedly dropped out of the race on January 11.

The former GOP State Chairman reported $281,050 from donors and loaned his campaign $20,100, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Steinhardt also reported $18,719 of outstanding bills, including $13,941 to National Public Affairs, the political consulting firm run by Bill Stepien.

Major donors to the Steinhardt for Governor campaign included $4,900 contributions from the IBEW Local 102 PAC, New Jersey Turnpike Authority Commissioner Ronald Gravino,  and pharmaceutical sales executive Joe Pizza.

Warren County Commissioner Jason Sarnoski, a staunch Steinhardt ally, contributed $9,800 using his state and federal campaign accounts.

Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, who became the presumptive Republican nominee for governor following Steinhardt’s withdrawal from the race, reported raising $1,086,821 after almost one year as a candidate.

Ciattarelli has already qualified for state matching funds.  So has Gov. Phil Murphy, who raised over $3.5 million during the 4th quarter of 2020.  That’s the maximum amount he can raise under the state’s gubernatorial public financing system.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story listed Boonton Alderman Joseph Bock as contributing $4,900.  It was $300.  A $4,900 donation was made by Joseph R. Bock, Steinhardt’s law partner. 

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