NORTH JERSEY-U.S. Senate Candidate, Rikin Mehta, a former Obama era USDA employee is now running for office as a Republican, but he is having a difficult time raising money for his campaign.
Mehta, according to his Federal Election Commissions report has raised $286,576 during the campaign. The bulk of that fundraising was a $255,000 loan from himself to his own campaign. He raised just $31,576.00 beyond that.
Of that $31,576.00, $11,200 came from family members.
He raised only $21,370 from others.
His opponent, Hirsh Singh has raised $318,556.38, all from individual contributions, mostly in small donations from supporters. That puts Singh at a 15 to 1 campaign funding advantage to Rikin when you subtract Rikin’s personal loan and family funding. Singh has also raised money from friends and family, nearly $48,000.
Still, Mehta has the full support of the New Jersey GOP establishment elite and is spending his cash within the elite’s power structure.
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His campaign is managed by GOP campaign strategist Chris Russell, who ran unsuccessful campaigns for Kim Guadagno for Governor, Bob Hugin for Senate and lost one of the most important mayoral battlegrounds of 2019 in Toms River.
Mehta has spent $88,000 on his campaign.
He spent $40,000 with Torchlight Strategies, a D.C. based political campaign firm with ties to the RNC, which could answer for his surprising endorsements from the NJ establishment.
He also spent $20,000 with Virginia based political consulting firm IMGE, another firm used regularly by the establishment enterprise.
As long as Mehta keeps opening his pocketbook, you can expect the establishment level of the GOP willing to trade endorsements in exchange for campaign cash. Singh has chosen a more low-level grassroots approach to his campaign, which is not in the best interests of the party bosses who regularly play politics on both sides of the political fence.