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State Sen. Chris Brown (R-Ventnor City). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Brown holds massive cash advantage in LD2

Republican Senator has nearly $471,000 banked

By Nikita Biryukov, February 01 2021 1:21 pm

State Sen. Chris Brown (R-Ventnor City) has a staggering cash lead over the second legislative district’s two Democratic assemblymen.

On Jan. 1, Brown had nearly $471,000 in his war chest, having raised $393,549 over the course of the cycle. His fundraising for the fourth quarter of 2020, when he brought in just $9,350 was far slimmer.

While the more recent fundraising total is far from astounding — Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) raised $11,950 in the same quarter — it lends Brown a small edge should he choose to seek re-election this year.

Mazzeo had just $13,370 banked at the start of the year, while Assemblyman John Armato (D-Buena) had an even meeker $3,840 after raising just $1,000 in 2020. The Democrats’ joint fundraising committee had just $2,613.43 in reserves.

Both Assemblymen are also holding onto $22,111.40 of campaign debt dating back to 2017.

The advantage isn’t as clear cut as it would be in a federal race. Assembly and Senate leadership PACs will spend heavily in competitive districts like the second, and Democrats have a clear advantage there.

Mazzeo and Armato will almost certainly receive further aid in outside spending from the General Majority PAC, a super PAC with ties to South Jersey powerbroker George Norcross.

Both Assemblymen have declined to rule out a Senate run, though sources in South Jersey’s Democratic circles say leadership is reluctant to back them for fear of losing seats in the lower chamber.

WPG Talk Radio host Harry Hurley last week reported Brown may not seek another term.

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