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Legislative election fundraising on a record pace, ELEC says

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ELEC's Top 10 candidates in terms of cash-on-hand.
ELEC's Top 10 candidates in terms of cash-on-hand. - ()

New Jersey’s Election Law Enforcement Commission believes the legislative fundraising for this year’s election could set a new record.

Candidates have raised $29.4 million, spent $16.3 million and report cash reserves of $13.3 million, according to a report from ELEC.

“If this trend holds up, it could be a big year,” said ELEC Executive Director Jeff Brindle.

The current numbers are based on candidate filings from May 10. Numbers do not include spending that is likely by independent committees in the fall.

Democrats have raised more than double what Republicans have raised, and spending is following a similar trend. Republican reserves are nearly one-third of Democrats’ in total.

Since 2001, fundraising totals, if adjusted for inflation, were only higher in 2011. Spending was also slightly higher. But cash-on-hand for 2003 and 2007 were higher, according to Brindle.

The commission is predicting a majority of incumbents will win based on prior years, and noted that the state Senate race, though it involves almost half the candidates of the Assembly, has raised significantly more than the Assembly race.

This year, the Senate candidates have raised more than $16.5 million, while Assembly candidates have raised $12.9 million; spending and cash-on-hand follow the pattern.

One more filing is expected before the June 6 primary.

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