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Salem GOP’s pot of gold

By David Wildstein

Did Salem County Republicans get a vig on Fran Grenier’s State Senate race against Steve Sweeney last year?

One year ago, the Salem County GOP had $19,280 cash on hand.  Now their warchest is more than ten times hat — $223,165.  It appears that Grenier left some of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) money unspent.  So a county with a total population the size of Old Bridge has more money in the bank than any other Republican county organization in the state.  Significantly more, actually – Salem’s campaign committee has a little more than 1/3 of the total cash-hand of all 21 GOP county committees.  No debt.

Grenier had a bad year – he won just 41% against Sweeney in an $18.7 million race that may be the most expensive legislative contest in U.S. political history.  Then five days before Christmas, Freeholder Melissa DeCastro switched parties, giving Democrats 3-2 control.

Salem Republicans will have a chance to regain control in this fall, when DeCastro is up for election.  The party may be historically well-financed, thanks to the NJEA, but remember that the Salem County Democrats have $101,292 in the bank – with the next-door Gloucester County sitting on $323,081.

Last thing: the Salem GOP ELEC report is still written out by hand.

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