Candidates seeking state offices in November have raised $52 million this cycle - nearly double the amount raised in 2009 - in part because of the greater involvement of outside groups, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
The comparison is not perfect: Gov. Jon S. Corzine, a former Wall Street executive, spent much more of his own money than he raised in his failed 2009 reelection bid, and the Senate did not hold elections that year. This year, the Assembly, Senate, and governorship all are up for election.
Nevertheless, special interest groups have already raised an estimated $15 million this cycle, or $1 million more than they spent for the entire 2009 election, according to ELEC. (Many of the groups do not have to disclose their fund-raising, so it is difficult to know the precise numbers.)