Republicans raise more cash in special election
Republicans have out raised Democrats in a special election that could tip the balance of power in the state House more in favor of the GOP.
So far, Republican Eileen O’Shaughnessy-Coleman has raised nearly $8,000 more than Democrat David Bentz in the roughly three weeks since the campaign kicked off according to state records.
After expenses, she also has more cash on hand for the final push with more than $20,000 compared to Bentz’s $15,000.
Campaign finance records show Bentz does have an edge in the average donation amount, though his list is almost half of O’Shaughnessy-Coleman’s.
Gov. Jack Markell (D) headlined a fundraiser for him last week at Newark’s Cavaliers Country Club with a minimum contribution of $100, but those donations did not have to be included in the most recent reporting period. They will show up in the final report eight days before the election.
The Newark-area House seat vacated by Michael Barbieri earlier this month, who left to lead a state agency for $144,000 a year, represents the one-vote edge Democrats have in keeping their super majority alive.
That advantage in numbers lets the party approve any tax or fee increase should they have all 25 members in line.
Republicans are fiercely fighting to eliminate that advantage like they did in the state Senate last year. The special election date is set for Saturday, Sept. 12.