Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), a state senate candidate for the new 32nd Legislative District, and Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea (D-2) are leading the way with cash on hand amongst June 6 primary candidates, campaign finance reports show.
Mukherji’s May 8th report shows that he gave himself a $500,000 loan on March 28th of last year and hasn’t paid it back yet. He reports raising just over $103,170.16 on top of that and spending $78,058.97, with $608,602.35 cash on hand.
Therefore, even though he is running unopposed in the primary, he is still running a full throttled campaign effort.
The Fund for Quality Leadership, a super PAC linked to Mayor Steven Fulop – now a declared gubernatorial candidate – gave Mukherji a max donation of $8,200 on February 13th. The Greater NJ Carpenters PAC gave the same amount the following day.
He then returned the favor by giving the Fulop for governor campaign a max donation of $4,900 on April 18th.
The Work PAC, which is based out of Nutley, also contributed $8,200 on March 30th.
As far as expenditures go, he paid West New York-based Royal Printing Services $20,000 for a direct mail piece on March 24th.
He also gave $600 total to the South Hudson Civic Association, O’Dea’s nonprofit, $1,500 to the Fund for Quality leadership, $7,000 to Craig Guy for Hudson County executive, and $7,200 to Union City First.
Also of note, Vijay Chaudhuri, Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s chief of staff, is now his deputy treasurer. The move is not particularly surprising since John Allen, a close friend of political ally of Bhalla, is one of Mukherji’s running mates.
O’Dea, who has a challenger in newcomer Adrian Ghainda, raised $17,723.15, spent $30,534.18, and has $353,107.36, according to his May 8th ELEC report.
On May 1st, he spent $5,000 with the U.S. Postal Service for a direct mail piece and is likely to pick up the pace in the championship rounds with a labor breakfast scheduled next week.
He also donated $300 to both the West New York Democratic Committee and the Fund for Quality Leadership, $125 to both the campaign accounts of Jersey City Council President Joyce Watterman and Hudson County Register Jeffrey Dublin, and finally he also gave a $4,900 max donation to Fulop for governor.
Conversely, Ghainda has reported raising $5,449.94 to date with $1,318.64 cash on hand.