Democratic candidate for N.J. gov claims an opponent tried to hide contributions

 Democratic candidate for New Jersey governor, Jim Johnson. (AP Photo/Jim Fitzgeral, file)

Democratic candidate for New Jersey governor, Jim Johnson. (AP Photo/Jim Fitzgeral, file)

A Democrat running to be New Jersey’s next governor said one of his opponents tried to hide contributions. 

Jim Johnson filed a complaint with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission Thursday against fellow Democrat Phil Murphy. Johnson said Murphy violated state election law by using non-profit social welfare and political groups he set up before entering the race to avoid disclosing some contributions and expenditures.

“There are payments that should have been recorded. We’ve identified at least an amount of $730,000 that has not been itemized that the public doesn’t know where the money went, how it was spent. The public as the law requires has a right to know this.”

Johnson said Murphy’s candidacy benefited from those organizations’ fund raising.

“This was a very clear indication that what’s been undertaken by the Murphy campaign is precisely the sort of ‘the rules don’t apply to us behavior’ that this state needs to change. The same rules need to apply to all of us.”

Murphy’s campaign said there’s no merit to the complaint and accuses Johnson of wasting taxpayers’ money by forcing the Election Law Enforcement Commission to look into the allegations.

The primarly election is scheduled for June 6. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, a limited to two terms in office and will leave office in January 2018. 

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