$6.1 Million Already Spent on Top Two Legislative Battleground Districts

Mazzeo, left, and Polistina.

With the legislative general election twelve days away, just two of the 40 legislative districts have attracted one in three dollars spent overall, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

In the past week, spending topped $6.1 million combined for the Second Legislative District (Atlantic
County) and Eighth Legislative District (parts of Atlantic, Burlington and Camden Counties) due mainly to an influx by independent committees. That is 33 percent of the $18.7 million spent so far on the election.

Reports filed during the last week show that independent spending committees already have spent $3.4
million in the two districts. That total represents 52 percent of all independent spending and 93 percent of independent spending where committees have linked spending to a legislative district.

Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director, said the agency issued this special update because some
independent groups reported their latest totals between the release of candidate reports on October 12 and 28 and their spending was significant.

“Independent spending committees, which are supposed to operate separate from candidates and parties, have become a major force in New Jersey elections. They typically target the most competitive districts and spending so far bears this out,” he said.

The biggest spending this past week was by American Democratic Majority, which sank $1.2 million into
the Eighth Legislative District.

The 527 political organization is affiliated with South Jersey Democrats and is trying to maintain at least
partial control of the historically GOP district after convincing the incumbent Republican senator to switch parties in 2019.

Candidate spending totals include $20,748 spent on their behalf this past week by the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee. The totals do not include $220,000 donated by the legislative leadership committee to 8th district candidates and $100,000 to 2nd district candidates since October 13.

According to ELEC research, the Eighth Legislative District has never featured the state’s most expensive
race though it has twice made the top five.

The most expensive so far was $3.3 million spent in 2007- the equivalent of $4.4 million in today’s dollars.

The Second Legislative District, which so far is the costliest legislative race this year at $3.4 million, has
been one of the most contested districts during the last two decades.

Three times since 2001, it has hosted the state’s most expensive legislative election, and six times it has
made the top five. The priciest contest was the $5.8 million matchup in 2011, or $7.1 million in today’s dollars.

The final pre-election analytical press release on the legislative campaign will be released October 28.

(Visited 388 times, 1 visits today)

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape