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Murphy gubernatorial election third-most expensive in state's history

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Gov.-elect Phil Murphy.
Gov.-elect Phil Murphy. - ()

Gov.-elect Phil Murphy spent over twice as much as his opponent Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in his gubernatorial campaign, according to a report released by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Murphy’s campaign raised $14.7 million compared to Guadagno’s $5.7 million. The total cost of the election was estimated to be $79 million when combining money spent by candidates and independent funds.

The 2017 election is now the third-most expensive in New Jersey's history. The 2009 election between Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Jon Corzine was estimated to cost $80 million when adjusted for inflation, and the 2005 election between Corzine and Gov. Doug Forrester was estimated to cost over $111 million after adjusting for inflation, according to NJELEC.

A significant portion of Murphy’s campaign money came from independent funds. The 2017 election had the highest amount of independent capital funneled into it with a total of $24.5 million.

“The $24.5 million spent independently on the election not only sets a new record, but reflects the growing dominance of these groups in national and New Jersey election,” said Jeff Brindle, NJELEC’s executive director, in a statement.

Murphy received $9.3 million in public funds, the maximum amount available for candidates who prove their viability by raising money above a specific threshold, but the public money only amounted to 26 percent of Murphy’s overall campaign spending.

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Arthur Augustyn

Arthur Augustyn

Arthur Augustyn grew up in Massachusetts and previously covered the video game industry in Los Angeles, city politics in Malibu, California, and local news in Bergen County before working at NJBIZ. He currently covers cannabis, government and tech.

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