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>Garrett’s fundraising outpaces Shulman’s 2-1 in 5th District

>Posted by packerma October 15, 2008 18:43PM

As the election approaches, Rep. Scott Garrett has a 2-1 fundraising lead over Dennis Shulman, his Democratic challenger for the 5th District seat, according to campaign finance reports filed Wednesday.

Garrett, 49, a Sussex County Republican, has $571,000 in cash on hand, while Shulman, a Bergen County Democrat, has $279,000, according to their Federal Election Commission reports for July 15 to Oct. 15.

However, the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has promised to bolster the 58-year-old Shulman’s coffers, after labeling the race Tuesday as one of its “Red to Blue” campaigns, in which Democratic challengers are to receive more funding and assistance to try to defeat GOP incumbents on Nov. 4.

“We think this means Dennis is well-positioned for October, especially as the national party has made the race a priority and Dennis’ grassroots support continues to expand exponentially,” Shulman’s campaign manager, Jeff Hauser, said Wednesday.

Garrett’s campaign notes he has outpaced his own fundraising, as compared with the 2006 election.

“We have exceeded the fundraising activity from previous elections by almost $300,000, and our cash on hand is twice that of our opponent,” Garrett campaign manager Amanda Gasperino said Wednesday. “These numbers are proof that voters in the 5th District want a congressman who will fight to protect New Jersey taxpayers and their family budgets.”

The campaign finance reports show the following figures:

Garrett had $649,000 at the start of the quarter; raised another $281,000; spent $359,000; and has $571,000 cash-on-hand. About $179,000 of Garrett’s contributions came from individual donations while $98,000 came from political action committees, or PACs, including the New Jersey Right to Life PAC, American Conservative Union, and several banking, insurance and finance groups.

Shulman had $258,000 at the start of the quarter; raised another $328,000; spent $307,000; and has $279,000 cash on hand. Some $205,000 of Shulman’s contributions came from individual donations while $69,000 came from PACs, including the NARAL Pro-Choice PAC, the American Federation of Teachers and several labor unions.

Shulman also loaned his campaign $53,000 in the third quarter. He loaned his campaign $35,000 in the second quarter and also has provided $14,000 in in-kind expenses.

Garrett has not loaned any of his own money to his campaign.

Of Shulman’s loans to his campaign, Gasperino said: “It’s clear that he has been unable to raise the amount of money he needs to fund his negative media buy .¤.¤. he’s forced to dip into his own pocket because 5th District voters refuse to fund his incessantly negative and baseless attack ads.”

Hauser said Shulman “has engaged a vast grassroots support that will work in the field and friend-to-friend to bring the vote out, whereas Garrett has gone financial services PAC-to-PAC to build a top-heavy campaign, out-of-touch with the district.”

Shulman has run ads blasting Garrett as “corrupt” for receiving a farmland tax assessment on nearly 10 acres of land used by his brother for a Christmas tree farm — but not listing the farmland as an asset on federal disclosure forms.

Garrett is an attorney from Wantage who is known as New Jersey’s most conservative congressman. He has said he is not required to disclose the farmland because he does not earn any income from it.

Shulman, of Demarest, is a psychologist and a rabbi. He has been blind since childhood. If elected, Shulman would become the first rabbi in Congress.

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