A record-breaking motherlode of outside cash flowed into New Jersey in an effort to keep Republican Gov. Chris Christie from being able to implement his second-term agenda.
Democrats recognized they had virtually no hope of defeating Christie in his bid for re-election, but they were hoping to keep their majorities in both houses of the Legislature to thwart his programs, reports The New York Times.
The party hopes that may toss a wrench into Christie's potential presidential bid in 2016.
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Democrats hold a 24-16 majority in the New Jersey Senate and a 48-32 advantage in the Assembly. However, many Democratic senators regularly support Christie, so losing a handful of seats effectively could give him majority backing in the Upper House, the Times reports.
As of Oct. 31, the state election office said, outside spending for candidates hit $35 million., with Democrats raising more than twice as much as the GOP. The figure is double the amount spent when Christie ran in 2009, before the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that allowed corporations and unions to donate unlimited funds to political causes.
The New Jersey Education Association alone spent nearly $12 million for Democrats, more than the entire Republican budget,with the Fund for Jobs, Growth and Security racking up another $7.6 million. They are targeting nine districts where, the Times reports, "Republicans are trying to capitalize on Mr. Christie’s expected coattails."
"These groups are now operating as surrogate parties," Jeffrey Brindle, executive director of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, told the Times. "They are assuming all of the roles that parties have performed in our past."
While an unheard of amount of money pours into the state, polls showed Christie has a massive lead
over his Democratic opponent Barbara Buono, and is virtually assured victory.
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