In N.J. legislative races, incumbents have commanding cash lead

With just three weeks remaining until the election, incumbents in the New Jersey Legislature have a big campaign cash advantage.

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission said Democratic legislative candidates have about $8.5 million in campaign funds on hand. That’s more than twice the amount Republicans have.

Every seat in the Assembly and the Senate is on the ballot this year.

Incumbents have raised 84 percent of the overall amount of money contributed by donors for this election, said Jeff Brindle, commission chairman. He said “pay to play” regulations barring state contractors from making donations hurts challengers more than incumbents.

“I think we’re always going to be in a situation where incumbents are going to be able to attract and raise more money than challengers,” Brindle said. “But I’m concerned about how this hurts competitive elections if there’s such an incredible differential between the two.”

Three competitive legislative districts account for much of the fundraising.

Political analysts expect the Democrats will maintain control of both the state Senate and Assembly.


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