- Associated Press - Monday, May 11, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A handful of incumbent members of New Jersey’s Assembly are dominating funding ahead of next month’s primary elections.

New data released Monday by the Election Law Enforcement Commission shows that the 10 best funded candidates have $2.5 million in cash on hand for their campaigns.

That’s nearly as much as the $2.7 million shared by scores of other candidates in the June 2 partisan primaries.

All 80 Assembly seats are up for election this year. Because of a quirk of the calendar, it’s a rare year when the seats are at the top of the ballot.

The top 10 funded campaigners include six Democrats and four Republicans.

By far the leader in cash on hand is Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Democrat, who had $549,000 as of May 5, the reporting deadline. Republican Assemblyman Chris Brown was second with $352,000 on hand.

Majority Leader Louis Greenwald and Minority Leader Jon Bramnick were also near the top of the listings, as was Gary Schaer, the Democrat who is chairman of the powerful budget committee.

Overall, Democrats, who hold 48 of the Assembly’s 80 seats now, have a major funding advantage.

Democrats have raised $7.7 million, about twice as much as the Republicans’ $3.8 million. Democrats have also spent more - $4.3 million to $1.9 million - and have more on hand.

Few primaries are competitive.

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