Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede has raised just $2,800 since the June Republican primary and appears to be running her entire campaign through her local party organization.
That’s not illegal, but it is an anomaly and could cause some voters to wonder why she doesn’t want to show a direct line between her donors and her own campaign.
Yaede faces a tough re-election campaign against Democrat Jeff Martin, the council president and an Air Force veteran.
So far, it’s been a tough year for the embattled mayor of New Jersey’s 9th largest municipality.
Earlier this year, the Mercer County Prosecutor accused Yaede of deliberately publishing records against her GOP primary opponent that she knew had been expunged. The charges were dismissed, but the damage may have taken its toll.
Yaede got into a fight with the state VFW Commander over veterans issues, causing a retired Air Force general to lecture her on the U.S. Constitution.
The mayor also tried to remove Mercer County GOP Chair Lisa Richford, who dumped Yaede from the organization line, but failed.
The Trentonian reported in September that prosecutors had seized laptops during a search of the Hamilton municipal building.
Until Yaede reported raised $2,800 in her October 25 report, she hadn’t raised a dime in four months despite being in a tough re-election campaign, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Yaede’s report shows no contributions for any amount since the June primary, an unusual happenstance in a volatile race.
The Republican mayor has raised $156,839 since opening her 2019 campaign account in January 2016. She transferred $45,577 left over from her 2015 re-election campaign.
Yaede finished the primary with $65,122 cash-on-hand after defeating rival David Henderson by a 2-1 margin.
Since the June primary, has spent $17,293. In total, Yaede reported spending $188,341 so far in her bid for a third term as Hamilton mayor.
Yaede and the Hamilton Republicans haven’t field any 48-hour notices, a legal requirement if they receive contributions in excess of $1,600 in the aggregate from one source.