- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey’s campaign law enforcement agency said Wednesday the former Democratic candidate for governor and state senator, Barbara Buono, violated state law by failing to establish separate committees in 2013.

Buono, who lost to Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2013, established separate committees in 2012.

But the Election Law Enforcement Commission said in a complaint that she used her senatorial account to pay for polling that questioned prospective voters about the governor’s race before she established the gubernatorial account.

According to commission documents, Buono’s senatorial committee hired Myers Research & Strategic Services in January 2012 to poll voters on her prospects as a gubernatorial candidate. The document said the company conducted 800 interviews and asked more than 80 questions.

Buono established her gubernatorial campaign committee in December 2012, nearly a year after the senatorial committee conducted the polling. The commission documents noted that she reimbursed her Senate committee from her gubernatorial account in 2014 for $37,250 - the same amount spent on polling in January 2012.

The commission also said Buono filed a form for her gubernatorial candidacy 312 days late.

A woman who answered a cellphone number Wednesday for Buono said the number no longer belongs to Buono.

The two complaints each carry a possible maximum penalty of a $6,800 fine.

The commission documents said Buono or her attorney may appear at a hearing to address the allegations, but didn’t specify a hearing date.

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