The money race in the 14th District Senate contest, which many thought could be the premier legislative race of the season, is so far a heavily lopsided affair.
To date, Democratic incumbent Linda Greenstein has raised more than $193,000 in her re-election bid against former 14th District Republican state Sen. Peter Inverso who is making a comeback effort. Greenstein maintains about $146,000 on hand.
But while the incumbent has been burning up the rubber chicken circuit, Inverso has raised just $18,100, $8,200 of it from Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. Inverso maintains about $15,000 on hand.
Inverso held his first fundraiser over the past month and besides the Kean donation, the bulk of his contributions have been in increments of less than $300.
Inverso was late getting into the race, deciding to mount his comeback attempt only as the deadline to file approached.
Historically, 14th District races have been among the most expensive in the state to run. Total spending in the district between 1999 and 2010 topped $14 million, the highest total of any district in the state over that time period. Two years ago, Greenstein spent about $350,000 in dispatching Hamilton resident Richard Kanka and in 2010 she raised more than $1.1 million to defeat Republican Tom Goodwin, who held the seat after Republican Bill Baroni left for a job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
In addition, Greenstein can count on heavy union support and has already received the backing of several trade and public sector unions. Those groups have already made their presence felt, donating more than $35,000 to the Democrat in just the last month alone.
Inverso did not immediately return a call for comment on his fundraising totals.
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"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop- PolitickerNJ.com
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