Christie’s War Chest Nearly Eight Times Larger Than Buono’s

October 15, 2013

Heather Haddon | October 15, 2013 | Wall Street Journal

Republican Chris Christie has nearly eight times more money to spend than Democratic challenger Barbara Buono in the remaining weeks before the Nov. 5 contest for governor, financial disclosures released Tuesday show.

The cash divide comes as independent expenditure groups have poured a record amount of money into New Jersey’s contests for governor and all 120 legislative seats. National and state organizations have already spent nearly $21 million, as compared to a total of $14 million in 2009—the last election year with a governor’s race on the ticket.

“Even with the election still weeks away, independent spending in state campaigns already has hit an all-time high,’’ said Jeff Brindle, executive director of the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Mr. Christie benefited from much of the independent spending.

The Republican Governors Association has spent $1.7 million on the race so far, while Committee for Our Children’s Future—a group that does not disclose its donors but is reportedly established by associates of Mr. Christie’s—spent $7.8 million, according to the commission.

Ms. Buono has benefited from $2.8 million in spending by One New Jersey, a liberal group that has run ads criticizing Mr. Christie. The New Jersey Education Association, the main public schools union that has clashed with Mr. Christie, has funneled $4.7 million into the legislative and governor’s race.

As for the candidates themselves, Mr. Christie has raised nearly $13 million through private funds and the state’s public matching fund for the general election race, his campaign filings through Oct. 7 showed. Ms. Buono brought in around $2 million from private sources and the state’s program, which provides $2 for every qualified dollar raised.

The Republican governor goes into the race with $8 million in cash on hand, while Ms. Buono has $1.2 million left to spend in the following three weeks.

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