A day after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his challenger, Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono, became the official nominees for their respective parties, the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission says Buono failed to qualify for the maximum available public primary funds.
Unlike Republican Christie, Buono is taking public matching funds for the primary. All previous Republican or Democratic gubernatorial nominees raised enough to be eligible for maximum public funding, according to the commission.
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In the latest period, which was the week that ended Tuesday, Buono raised $74,119.50. She has submitted $1.2 million for primary matching funds, but candidates must raise $1,872,000 in order to qualify for the maximum in funds from the state, which is $3.5 million. She received $1,691,429 in public matching funds, according to the campaign.
The Republican governor took no public matching funds in the primary period and the campaign has yet to announce its intentions for the general election.
General election candidates must raise $4.2 million in order to get $8.2 million in state matching funds.
"Our fundraising pace has continued to grow. We had the best filing period two filing periods ago and we beat Gov. Christie," Buono spokesman David Turner said. "We will have the resources to compete and win in November."
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Buono, 59, beat Christie, 50, in fundraising two filing periods ago, according to the campaigns' 11 day pre-primary reports, but Christie has significantly outraised her. To date for the primary period, Christie has raised close to $7 million to Buono's $2.9 million, according to the two campaigns.
Most of that money goes into advertising in New Jersey's pricey media markets of New York City and Philadelphia. Christie is spending $4.5 million in television advertising, while Buono is spending about $1 million.
Christie is still subject to state contribution limits, which cap at $3,800 for the primary and $3,800 for the general election. If Christie continues to skip state matching funds, his primary money will roll over to the general election. But if he does, it won't, which means he would have needed to spend all his funds by Tuesday.
Buono is unable to roll over her primary funds because she is taking public funding.