The top Democratic fundraiser in the 7th district congressional race says that the ability to raise money will play a key role if Democrats are to unseat Rep. Leonard Lance this year.
“While the ability to raise money is not everything, it’s definitely a necessary part of being a candidate,” says Lisa Mandelblatt, who has raised $659,023 and has $413,239 cash-on-hand. “As a first-time candidate, I have shown my ability and willingness to raise the money needed to defeat Congressman Lance.”
Mandelblatt has self-financed about half her campaign so far, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. She has raised the most of the seven candidates looking to challenge Lance in the general election.
Sharon Stockwell, a Democratic County Committeewoman from Westfield who is backing Mandelblatt, says that Democrats should consider Mandelblatt’s fundraising skills as part of the candidate endorsement process. Hunterdon County Democrats will meet on Sunday to award their organization line.
“As a grassroots member of the party, I wish money wasn’t important, but I am also a realist and I understand how important it’s going to be to have a campaign war chest to flip the seat to a Democrat,” Stockwell said. “I supported Lisa before I knew what a steadfast fundraiser she was. The fact that she leads the pack in fundraising only reinforces my reasons for supporting her.”
Another Mandelblatt supporter, former Westfield Mayor Tom Jardim, says that the working mom from his hometown is a tenacious fundraiser.
“In any other year, many of the others in the race would have been viable candidates, but this year is different,” Jardim said. “Voters are not looking for Washington or Trenton experience, they want someone who comes from the grassroots of the district. Many of the newly energized voters are women and are looking to increase the number of women in Congress, which is long overdue. Lisa is the perfect candidate for this time in our history.”