ELEC: Gubernatorial Election Year Helps Pump Up County Coffers

The Gold Dome.

Fueled by a major state election year, combined county party fund-raising has reached levels not seen
since 2009, according to quarterly reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

Through September 30, 2021, county parties have raised $8 million and spent $6.1 million. Those
represent the largest totals since 2009, when fund-raising reached $7.4 million and spending totaled $6.4 million. The combined $4.9 million cash-on-hand also is a high for the period.

“Looking at the average of the four gubernatorial elections since and including 2009, and nine nongubernatorial elections during the same period, county parties on average have raised 42.3 percent more during gubernatorial election years,’’ said Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director. “They also have spent an average of 34.6 percent more.”

Brindle said county parties need more money in gubernatorial election years because they help support
not just the top of the ticket but also state legislative and local elections.

“In those years, they also tend to get larger-than-usual infusions from national party committees, unions, and wealthy donors,’’ he said.

Democratic county committees not only are outraising and spending Republican county committees, but
they have fatter cash reserves. Democratic totals are up compared to the last gubernatorial election year in 2017.

Republican totals are down from 2017.

Among Democratic county committees that have filed their quarterly reports, eleven committeesBergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset and Union- reported
cash balances above $100,000.

The Union county committee was the only Republican committee reporting a cash balance above

The numbers in this analysis are based on reports filed by noon November 8, 2021. They have yet to be
verified by ELEC staff, and should be considered preliminary.

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