N.J. increases limit on donations, public financing for gubernatorial candidates

The limits on public financing for gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey are being increased in advance of next year’s elections.

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission has voted to raise the amount donors can give to candidates to $3,800. That’s a $400 increase from 2009.

Gubernatorial candidates who qualify for public financing can get up to $3.5 million for the primary and $8.2 million for the general election.

Commission executive director Jeff Brindle says the limits are adjusted by a special formula that reflects inflation and the cost of advertising.

“Advertising costs, which is a major part of a campaign, have gone up around 12 percent over the last four years which really exceeds the consumer price index on other goods and services,” Brindle said.

Although former Gov. Jon Corzine did not seek public financing, Brindle says every other candidate who has become governor since the program started in 1977 has participated.

He calls the program a model for the nation.

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