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Democrats dominating fundraising in NJ House contests

July 19, 2018

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Democrats running for House seats are raising more cash than their Republican rivals ahead of this fall’s midterm elections.

Federal Election Commission records from the second quarter, analyzed by The Associated Press, show that Democrats have nearly five times as much cash on hand as Republican House candidates, and that Democrats running against Republican incumbents or for seats currently held by the GOP outraised their opponents in the second quarter.

Two Democratic challengers, both former Obama administration officials, have more cash in their coffers than two Republican incumbents. And two Democrats running in contests that saw longtime Republican incumbents retire are running away with the race to raise money.

It’s mostly dim news for GOP fundraising efforts, but not entirely. Nine-term Republican Chris Smith reports more cash on hand than his Democratic challenger.

New Jersey is a Democratic state, with about 911,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. Unaffiliated voters are the largest bloc in the state.

Democrats control seven of the state’s 12 House seats, with Republicans holding five.

Democrats need to net 24 seats in the November elections to take control of the House from the GOP, which also controls the Senate and White House.

A closer look at the races experts are watching most closely:

2ND DISTRICT

GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondo is retiring after 12 terms, setting up a race between Democratic state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, who has national backing, and Republican Seth Grossman, an attorney and former Atlantic City and Atlantic County officeholder. Grossman recently lost national GOP backing over racial posts he shared on social media. Grossman says that he’s not a racist and that he didn’t read all of the posts he shared. Democrats are hopeful they’ll flip this seat. Van Drew brought in $540,000 in the second quarter; Grossman hauled in about $77,000. Van Drew reports $675,000 cash on hand, compared with Grossman’s roughly $56,000. The southern New Jersey district includes Atlantic City and stretches from the coast to the Philadelphia suburbs.

3RD DISTRICT

Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur has so far raised $2.4 million compared with $2.2 million for Democrat Andy Kim. But Kim raised about $1 million in the second quarter compared with $578,000 for MacArthur. Kim is a former national security aide to President Barack Obama. MacArthur is a two-term representative who backed the GOP tax overhaul last year and has been close with President Donald Trump, who held a fundraiser for MacArthur at his New Jersey country club. The bowtie-shaped district includes parts of Burlington and Ocean counties.

4TH DISTRICT

Smith brought in $814,000 compared with $637,000 from Democrat Josh Welle, a Naval Academy graduate and software firm CEO so far this cycle. Smith has represented the district since 1981. Welle, though, raised about $350,000 compared with $250,000 for Smith in the quarter that ended June 30. The district stretches from suburban Trenton eastward.

7TH DISTRICT

Former Obama administration State Department official Tom Malinowski is raking in cash. So far he has brought in $2.3 million, compared with $1.5 million for Republican Rep. Leonard Lance, the former state lawmaker who has represented the northern New Jersey district since 2009. In the second quarter, Malinowski brought in over $1 million while Lance hauled in $434,000. Malinowski has $1.6 million on hand, while Lance reports $1.2 million. The northern New Jersey district hugs the Delaware River and includes parts of five counties.

11TH DISTRICT

Democrat Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor, has gotten national attention in her quest to pick up the seat now held by retiring Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen. Sherrill has raised more than $4 million and has about $3 million on hand. She raised $2 million in the second quarter. Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber has raised about $574,000 so far, with $340,000 in the second quarter. He has $172,000 on hand after a bruising five-way primary that ended in June with his victory. The district centers on Morris County but also includes parts of Essex, Passaic and Sussex counties.

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