2018 was a big-money year for both Democratic and Republican county parties in New Jersey. Helped greatly by $1.1 million in contributions from federal candidates in last year’s elections, they had their best federal election year — financially speaking — since 2008. This is according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. Combined, the Democratic and Republican committees raised $9.7 million and spent $9 million.
Bob Hugin, the Republican Senate candidate, was responsible for most of the largesse, accounting for $806,210 in contributions and for rental reimbursement to GOP county parties. That translates to 71 percent of the $1.1 million.
“As we’ve seen in the past, self-financed candidates often share their wealth with county organizations. It helps win support for their candidacies while creating valuable allies during the election,” commented Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s executive director. While Hugin’s contributions were a big deal for the GOP county parties, they were a drop in the bucket in his overall personal spending on the failed attempt to unseat U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez; Hugin spent $36,831,210 on that endeavor.