Home>Legislature>34 candidates, including incumbents, failed to file financial disclosures with ELEC

The headquarters of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission in Trenton. (Photo: ELEC.)

34 candidates, including incumbents, failed to file financial disclosures with ELEC

By Nikita Biryukov, June 15 2021 10:26 am

State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon told the New Jersey Globe he filed his disclosure after this story was published. The missed deadline, he said, was the result of confusion related to similar but separate disclosures sitting legislators file with the Office of Legislative Services.  State Sen. Bob Singer filed after this story was published, according to documentation provided by the GOP.

Only 86% of this year’s legislative candidates filed personal financial disclosures required by the Election Law Enforcement Commission, the body announced Tuesday.

Six of the 108 incumbents seeking re-election failed to filed their disclosures, which list income sources over $1,000 for candidates and their families. At 94%, the response rate is the lowest since 2017, when 6% of incumbent candidates also failed to filed personal disclosure forms with ELEC.

State Sens. Declan O’Scanlon (D-Little Silver) and Bob Singer (D-Lakewood) were the only Republican incumbents to miss their filings, as well as the only senators. Assembly members Annette Chaparro (D-Hoboken), Joseph Egan (D-New Brunswick), Joe Danielsen (D-Franklin) and Angela McKnight (D-Jersey City) also failed to submit their personal financial disclosures.

The numbers among this year’s challengers were less stellar. About one-fifth failed to filed their disclosures, or 117 out of 145 challengers. That 80% compliance rate marked an increase from the 66% response rate in 2019 but still marked a measured decline from the early 2010s, when response rates hovered close to 90%.

Republican incumbents were the most responsible this year, with 95% returning their disclosures. That number’s been 100% for the last four legislative cycles.

Democratic officeholders responded at a roughly equal level, with 94% of them filing disclosures. Historically, the party’s elected officials have been a little shakier on filing their financial disclosures to ELEC, though their response rate has been above 90% since at least 2011.

But challengers on both sides reported poor numbers — 84% for Democrats and 77% for Republicans. In both cases, the less-than-stellar reporting rates still represent an increase from 2019, when 70% of Democratic challengers and just 64% of Republican ones turned in their personal financial disclosure.

Missing the disclosure can lead to a fine of up to $1,000.

ELEC Executive Director Jeff Brindle called on lawmakers to bring the reporting deadline for financial disclosures in line with the May 15 deadline for personal financial disclosures filed by legislators with the Office of Legislative Services.

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