U.S. Rep. John Runyan was the big winner in the outside expenditure sweepstakes in the election's home stretch, drawing in more than $670,000 in the final two weeks of his re-election bid.
Runyan, (R-3) is seeking a second term in the House and is opposed by Democrat Shelley Adler. Adler is the wife of Jon Adler, who lost the seat to Runyan in 2010 and died of complications from a heart procedure soon after.
Since Oct. 23, Runyan has been flooded with expenditures on his behalf, the bulk of which came from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a GOP super PAC. In that time, the PAC has spent over $626,000 on television ads and web videos opposing Adler.
Runyan also benefitted from expenditures by the Lunch Pail Republicans and YG Network, a pair of Republican PACs.
Adler also has seen some money come her way in the form of outside expenditures, however at $8,476 spent on her behalf, her total amounts to a small fraction of the money that backed her opponent.
Runyan's haul makes up the bulk of the more than $1.5 million that flowed into New Jersey in the final two weeks of the election season. The amount is a drop in the ocean of money that flooded campaigns nationwide this year, but is significant because the state boasts few if any competitive races. The race for the 3rd District is the closest, but in polling Runyan has led throughout.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who is running in the 9th Congressional District in hopes of unseating Passaic County Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, took in $450,000 in the last 14 days. The money came in the form of a media buy paid for by Patriot Prosperity, the super PAC run by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
Bob Menendez enjoyed the next highest independent expenditure haul at $323,000 in the final two weeks of his race against Republican Joe Kyrillos. Menendez received the majority of his support from the Patriot Majority, which dropped $120,000 in expenditures on behalf of Menendez. The incumbent also was supported by the Majority PAC, which seeks to protect the Democratic majority in the Senate.
Kyrillos was not without his own support in the final leg of the race. Patriot Prosperity also came to his aid with $120,000 spent on television ads.
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