- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New state data show New Jersey Republicans have raised and spent more than their Democratic counterparts through the end of June.

The Election Law Enforcement Commission said in a statement Friday that the Republican State Committee along with the party’s Senate and Assembly organizations raised $1.3 million and spent about $1.1 million from January to June. Their Democratic counterparts raised about $1.2 million and spent roughly $900,000 in the same period.

Assembly seats are at the top of the ticket in November’s election for the first time since 1999.

Despite the GOP outpacing Democrats, the Assembly Republican Victory committee raised $581,308 compared with the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee’s $619,823. Experts say few districts will be competitive and Republicans face a challenge in trying to net the nine seats they’ll need to win to take the majority from Democrats.

Overall, spending in this year’s election cycle lags previous years and is the lowest amount spent through the second quarter going back to at least 2007, the commission said.

Commission executive director Jeff Brindle said fundraising has been down generally for several years because of tight spending limits on contractors, fewer checks from wealthy donors and the rise of independent interest groups.

“The fact that state Assembly members are alone on the ballot this fall probably does account for some of the drop-off,” he added.

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