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June 29, 2017

Big money: Record spending in New Jersey's governor's race

A record $42.5 million spent in primary races among candidates vying for Chris Christie's seat

A record amount of money – $42.5 million – was spent in the New Jersey gubernatorial primary, according to state monitors.

Candidates spent $33.7 million while independent committees, spent $8.8 million, with most of that spending in late 2016.

“The combined total of $42.5 million tops the 2001 election, which when adjusted for inflation cost $41.2 million. That was previously the most expensive gubernatorial primary,” said Jeff Brindle, Election Law Enforcement Commission’s Executive Director.

Brindle added that he “expects spending by outside, independent groups to be extensive in the general election for governor and the legislature.”

Top spender was Democratic nominee Phil Murphy, at $21.7 million, or the equivalent of 64 percent of the total funds spent by candidates.

His primary campaign was largely self-financed, although Murphy has said he intends to apply for public matching funds in the general election, limiting his overall spending to $13.8 million.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the Republican primary winner, was the second biggest spender. She spent $3.4 million on the primary.