First quarter fundraising by the two state parties and four legislative leadership PACs reached nearly $2.3 million, the highest mark in more than a decade, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director, attributed the fundraising spike to the fact that the governor’s
seat and all 120 legislative positions are up for reelection this fall.
“Another factor is that the state’s political leaders, like everyone else, appear to be adjusting to the
COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down several fund-raisers last year at this time. Fundraising for the first three months of 2021 is nearly triple the amount raised for the same period in 2020,” Brindle said.
Both Republicans and Democrats raised significantly more funds during this year’s first quarter than they did in 2017.
Republican fund-raising was up 81 percent while Democrats took in 122 percent more during the three-month period. While Republicans reported less cash-on-hand than four years ago, Democrats showed a 58 percent increase.
Brindle said while the latest Big Six reports are encouraging, they reflect just first quarter collections.
Annual fund-raising totals are a better benchmark, and they have been in steady decline for the six committees since peaking in 2001.
“ELEC believes party committees are important because they are more accountable and transparent than so-called “outside” independent spenders that are growing more dominant,” Brindle said. “We will continue to work with lawmakers to try to enact new laws that will hopefully redirect more funds back into party coffers.”
State parties and legislative leadership committees are required to report their financial activity to the
Commission on a quarterly basis. The reports are available on ELEC’s website at www.elec.state.nj.us. ELEC also can be accessed on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NJElectionLaw) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/elecnj).