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Michael Kempner, a New Jersey public relations executive and former deputy finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is one of presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar's major donors.

New Jersey helps fund Booker opponents

More than $300k in first quarter to nearly a dozen other Democratic presidential hopefuls

By David Wildstein, April 22 2019 7:45 pm

While New Jersey Democrats are solidly behind Cory Booker for president, some of his rivals for the nomination are still raising money in Booker’s home turf.

Booker reported raising $1,860,905 from New Jersey-based contributors, with an additional $302,876 going to his opponents– not including Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Kamala Harris (D-California).

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has raised $31,210 in New Jersey.  Among her local donors is Alixon Collazos, a Democratic state committeewoman from Booker’s home county.  She also contributed to Booker.

Michael Kempner, a New Jersey public relations executive who served as one of Hillary Clinton’s national finance co-chairs in 2009 and later as the deputy finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee, contributed $5,600 to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Kempner did not contribute to any other presidential candidates.

Klobuchar raised $85,898 in New Jersey during the first quarter of 2018 – much of it from business associates of Zygi Wilf, a New Jersey real estate developer who owns the Minnesota Vikings.

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg’s donors include former New Jersey Democratic State Chairman Tom Byrne, Garden State Equality executive director Christian Fuscarino, mega lawyer Ted Wells, and Raj Parikh, the counsel to the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.  His New Jersey haul was $42,705.

Byrne, Parikh and Wells are also Booker donors.  Wells also gave to New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who raised $46,108 in New Jersey.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke brought in $23,021 from New Jersey donors, including $250 from one of the leaders of his local campaign, Ocean Township Democratic municipal chairman Michael Beson.

Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington, raised just $8,500 in New Jersey.  Almost one-third of her haul came from Christine Ordway, who lost a bid for State Assembly two years ago in the 40th district and is now prominently mentioned as a possible candidate for a seat on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

New Jerseyans sent $56,675 to Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.  One of her biggest donors is Deepak Raj, the head of a private investment firm and one of Gov. Phil Murphy’s appointees to the New Jersey State Investment Council.

Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, who grew up in Wood-Ridge and attended college on an IBEW Local 164 scholarship, raised $23,050 from New Jersey. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper reported $4,500 in New Jersey contributions, and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro reported raising just $3,574 from New Jersey.

Marianne Williamson ($10,685) and Andrew Yang ($13,148) raised more money in New Jersey than Inslee, Hickenlooper and Castro.

Data for Sanders and Harris was not immediately available.  The total raised from New Jersey is based on residency reported by the individual candidates.

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