Home>Highlight>County party bankrolls largest they’ve been in years

View of the Statehouse from the Department of Labor in Trenton , N.J. on Tuesday, July 20, 2010. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

County party bankrolls largest they’ve been in years

Fundraising still lags, Brindle says

By Nikita Biryukov, July 31 2019 10:32 am

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New Jersey’s Democratic County Committees have more than twice as much cash banked than they did at this point in 2015, the last year where Assembly seats were at the top of the ticket, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

The Democratic county organizations raised $1,951,466 in the first six months of 2019. By the end of June, the organizations had collectively banked $2,174,937, more than double the $934,320 they had banked at this point in 2019, when Democratic county organizations raised $1,415,710.

Republican county organizations fared a little worse, raising $1,229,525 this year compared to $1,182,008 in 2015, but their war chests are still larger than they were four years ago.

The GOP organizations have $1,076,210 banked. At this point in 2015, they had $772,145 in reserves.

“County parties are in better shape this year than they were during the 2015 Assembly elections. In fact, the combined cash-on-hand total is 17 percent more than in 2017, when there was a gubernatorial campaign and both legislative houses up for reelection,” said Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director

The last time the state’s county organizations had this much cash banked was in 2003, though the parties’ fundraising totals still lag significantly behind those of 2007, 2005 and 2003, among others, even before adjustments for inflation.

Among the Democratic organizations, Middlesex, Union and Essex Counties raised the most money, bringing in $344,594, $207,633 and $205,783 respectively.

On the Republican side, Salem, Burlington and Somerset Counties were the top raisers. Salem brought in $221,385. Burlington netted $187,640, and Somerset raised $150,708.

“You can’t ignore the fact that county parties have done a better job recently of stockpiling their cash. On the other hand, fundraising and spending totals remain well below previous historic highs,” Brindle said. “State and county parties all have struggled to raise campaign cash for over a decade because special interest groups have become inclined to spend independently instead of handing more checks to parties and candidates. Parties also continue to feel the pinch of tight caps on public contractor contributions that began in the mid-2000s.”

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