Filings show Norcross drawing campaign cash

Posted: April 17, 2014

TRENTON - State Sen. Donald Norcross raised $379,000 in the first quarter of 2014 for his First District congressional bid, which led campaign-finance filings disclosed Tuesday for South Jersey candidates for Congress.

Fund-raising reports by the five other candidates for the First District seat were not available on the Federal Election Commission's website by Tuesday evening. The seat was vacated in February when U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews resigned to take a job with a Philadelphia law firm.

The quarterly campaign-finance reporting deadline was 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. Norcross' donations are for both the primary campaign and a special election on the same day, June 3, to replace Andrews from November until January. The other candidates did not file for the special election.

Norcross (D., Camden) - who has been endorsed by the vast majority of South Jersey Democratic political figures, a bloc led by his older brother George - reported more than $350,000 cash on hand. George E. Norcross III is co-owner of The Inquirer.

Logan Township Mayor Frank Minor is running against Norcross in a Democratic primary, while former Eagles player Garry Cobb and three other candidates are seeking the GOP nomination.

Norcross' donors include Dilworth Paxson L.L.P., the law firm where Andrews now works, which contributed $2,600. A number of New Jersey legislators, such as Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester), also donated money from their campaign accounts.

In the Third District, Republican Steve Lonegan reported raising about $300,000 in the first quarter. Lonegan, a former mayor of Bogota who recently moved to Lavallette, personally gave his campaign a $100,000 loan, and also reported about $160,000 in loans.

Lonegan has $172,000 cash on hand. He ran unsuccessfully for the Senate last year against former Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

Lonegan's primary opponent, former Randolph Township Mayor Tom MacArthur, has mostly financed his campaign with a $2 million loan from himself - money not categorized by the FEC as a contribution - and has $1.7 million cash on hand. MacArthur, who now lives in Ocean County and is supported by the party establishment, also reported $1,075 in contributions in the first quarter.

"Frankly, raising money in the first quarter was not a priority for us," said Chris Russell, a consultant for MacArthur's campaign. Instead, he said, the campaign was focused on winning Republican Party conventions. The campaign will now turn to fund-raising, he said.

MacArthur's campaign also announced Tuesday that he had received endorsements from 160 elected officials from the Third District, which spans Burlington and Ocean Counties.

"These elected officials are not only leaders in our party, but are leaders in their communities," MacArthur said in a statement. "These endorsements carry tremendous weight, and I look forward to working alongside everyone towards victory in June and November."

The Lonegan campaign denounced MacArthur as "our liberal opponent," and said he "may have felt secure in purchasing the local county committee endorsements, but it's clear he cannot buy the support of Third District voters."

They are seeking to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan, a Burlington County Republican and former Eagles player.

On the Democratic side, lawyer Howard Kleinhendler reported $2,900 in contributions and an $11,000 loan.

Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard, the Democrat backed by the Burlington and Ocean County Democratic Committees, raised $227,000 for the quarter and reported $326,000 cash on hand.

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a Republican, is leading the fund-raising battle in the Second District. He raised $290,000 in the first quarter and reported $1.3 million cash on hand. His chief opponent, Democrat Bill Hughes Jr., a lawyer and former federal prosecutor, reported raising $190,000 and had $328,000 in cash.

Democrat Dave Cole, a former Obama administration technology adviser, received $19,000 in contributions and had $11,000 in cash. The Second District runs from Burlington to Cape May Counties.

In the race for U.S. Senate, Republican Jeff Bell - who defeated New Jersey's last incumbent Republican U.S. senator in a 1978 primary - raised $35,800.

Filings by the other candidates, including incumbent Booker, were not available. Booker, who is seeking a full six-year term after replacing the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg last year, had $1.8 million cash on hand through the end of 2013.


aseidman@phillynews.com

856-779-3846 @AndrewSeidman

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