Home>Campaigns>Madden’s sluggish fundraising could be sign of retirement, but that might not matter in South Jersey

Senator Fred Madden at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address delivered on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Madden’s sluggish fundraising could be sign of retirement, but that might not matter in South Jersey

Six-term senator raised just $7,000 in 2022

By David Wildstein, January 25 2023 1:14 pm

Six-term State Sen. Fred Madden (D-Washington Township) has $76,974 cash-on-hand after raising just $3,500 in the last quarter of 2022 and $7,000 since the 2021 election.

In other parts of the state, lethargic fundraising numbers for an incumbent in a competitive district might signal an intention to retire — the conventional wisdom is that 68-year-old Senate Labor Committee chairman is unlikely to seek re-election to a seventh term — but candidate fundraising in South Jersey is not a requirement of the job.

Democratic powerhouse George Norcross tends to take on fundraising responsibilities for his candidates, so Madden’s low cash-on-hand could easily be supplemented in time for the fall campaign.

When Madden flipped the seat in 2003, ousting State Sen. George Geist (R-Gloucester Township) by 63 votes, the race was the most expensive legislative campaign in New Jersey history at the time.   With Norcross’ help, Madden shattered spending records and spent about $4.4 million and aired prime-time Philadelphia network TV ad during the World Series.  Geist spent roughly $1.9 million.

Legislative redistricting gives Republicans a path to flipping Senate and Assembly seats in the 4th legislatve district.  Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy won the current district by two percentage points in 2021,  but Republican Jack Ciattarelli carried newly-drawn 4th by six points.  Republicans have not yet picked candidates.

Nine-term Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Washington), who is a potential Senate candidate if Madden steps down, has a warchest of $159,473.   He raised $27,283 in final quarter of last year and $98,483 since the 2021 election.

Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Gloucester Township) raised $583 in the last quarter of 2022 and $41,308 since her 2021 re-election.  She has $37,582 in the bank.

A Republican Assembly candidate, 24-year-old Michael Clark, has raised $14,450 and spent $167.  A businessman, Clark is also the athletic director of the Solid Rock Christian School in Berlin.  He and his family sing in the Clark Family Band, which travels across the U.S. to sing in churches.   He also appeared in the reality TV show, Bringing Up Bates.

In 2022, Madden depleted some of his warchest to contribute $37,000 to the Gloucester County Democratic Committee to help them maintain control of county government.  Madden had served as Democratic county chairman until quietly giving up the post last year.

Madden was re-elected under the old map with 54% in 2021, his weakest showing since he defeated Geist.

He paid his fundraising consultant $8,000 in October, $1,000 more than the total he raised last year.

Madden did not immediately return a 12:02 PM call seeking comment.

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