Home>Campaigns>Sweeney schedules Senate campaign fundraiser for March

Former Senate President Steve Sweeney. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Sweeney schedules Senate campaign fundraiser for March

Ex-Senate President raising money for Sweeney for Senate

By David Wildstein, January 31 2022 12:04 pm

Steve Sweeney’s Senate campaign committee is holding a high-dollar fundraiser in March, an event that will only fuel speculation that the former Senate President might seek to regain the seat he lost last November to Republican Edward R. Durr.

The event is set for March 10 at the Rittenhouse Grill in Philadelphia, with ticket prices ranging from $2,600 to $8,200.

Sweeney ended his bid for a seventh term in the State Senate with $575,114 in the bank and 2,200 less votes than he needed to beat Durr, a truck driver who beat the most powerful legislative leader in state history on a shoestring budget.

A joint campaign committee with Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Paulsboro) and Adam Taliaferro (D-Woolwich), who also lost their seats, finished with $192,406 cash-on-hand.

Since Sweeney has no campaign debt, he’ll need to file a 2023 State Senate campaign account with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.  His next quarterly report, detailing contributions and spending for the first three months of 2022, is due in April.

The March fundraiser puts Sweeney in a modicum of competition with his successor, Senate President Nicholas Scutari, who is raising money for Senate Democrats running next year.  Scuatri now controls the Senate Democratic leadership PAC.

Sweeney has already announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2025, but the spending cap for gubernatorial candidates seeking public financing isn’t actually triggered until a candidate files and begins raising money, according to Joe Donohue, the deputy executive director of ELEC.

Republican Jack Ciattarelli, who came within three points of ousting Gov. Phil Murphy last year, announced two weeks after the last election that he intends to run again in 2025.

Sweeney can simultaneously run for state senate in 2023 and governor in 2025, Donohue explained.

“There is no prohibition on dual fundraising,” Donohue said.

The way election cycles work out, senators can run for governor twice every other decade without giving up their Senate seats.

The State Senate was not up in 1985 and 1989 but was in 1993 and 1997.  That repeated in 2003 and 2009 and not in 2013 and 2017.  The next two gubernatorial elections, 2025 and 2029, will give senators a free ride to running for governor without risking their seats.

Spread the news: