TRENTON – Congressional candidates in New Jersey have raised nearly $60 million and spent over $50 million in this two-year election cycle, which culminates with Tuesday’s election.

Both numbers will wind up higher, as they reflect campaign activity through Oct. 19.

On top of that, outside groups have made around $22 million in independent expenditures either supporting or opposing House candidates in New Jersey, according to data compiled by OpenSecrets.

Congress Stock Trading
Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J. 7th District.
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Fundraising

No candidate in New Jersey raised more money in the 2021-22 election cycle than Rep. Tom Malinowski, the Democratic incumbent in the 7th District thought to be most at risk of losing his seat.

Malinowski raised $8.4 million – even more than Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who has been called a ‘human fundraising machine’ after raising $19.6 million over the prior three election cycles.

The four Democratic incumbents who have been mentioned as targets by national Republicans were the four biggest fundraisers, followed by Republican challengers Bob Healey in the 3rd District and Tom Kean Jr. in the 7th District, who each reported $4 million raised.

Healey’s funding includes $2.26 million from the candidate himself, in what was identified as loans but wouldn’t necessarily wind up being repaid.

Mikie Sherrill
AP
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Spending

The most money spent this campaign cycle, as of the reporting period that ended Oct. 19, was Rep. Mikie Sherrill in the 11th District, who spent more than $7.5 million. She has spent over 13 times more than her Republican opponent, Paul DeGroot. The next four biggest spending candidates have been Malinowski and Rep. Andy Kim, followed by their challengers Healey and Kean. Next comes Rep. Donald Norcross, in what would appear to be the safe-for-Democrats 1st District.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer speaks about the affect of congestion pricing on NJ commuters
Rep. Josh Gottheimer speaks about the affect of congestion pricing on NJ commuters (Rep. Josh Gottheimer)
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Cash on hand

The candidate with the most cash on hand, as of the reports two weeks ago, was Gottheimer – whose $13.7 million in the bank accounted for almost 47% of all the cash held by everyone in the state with an active House fundraising committee.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. was second with $3.5 million cash on hand. They were followed by two incumbents – Kim and Malinowski – in tough races who have probably spent much of that reserve in the period not yet covered by a fundraising report.

 

Independent expenditures

Data from OpenSecrets, a watchdog group dedicated to transparency in campaign financing, shows that just under $22 million has been spent this election cycle by outside groups seeking to influence the election. About $18.3 million of that has been spent on negative ads opposing a candidate, including nearly $6 million targeting Malinowski, $4.4 million targeting challenger Frank Pallotta in the 5th District and $4 million against challenger Paul DeGroot in the 11th District. Around $3.65 million has been spent supporting candidates, headed by $1.1 million backing Sherrill.

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Michael Symons is the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com

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