In 2007 in New Jersey, Clean Elections candidates won all nine seats in the state's pilot Clean Elections project. With the news that the New Jersey system may be on hold for the next election in 2009, one possible candidate says that may just keep him from running.
"I'd be less than honest to say I haven't though about it, but I don't know about the reality of it. It's the raising of the funds and everything along those lines," Wayne Wittman told PolitickerNJ.
Wittman, a Republican on the Cranbury Council whose name is popping up as a possible candidate in 2009, said he just doesn't know if he can run without Clean Elections. "Now that they got rid of the clean elections, that puts a big damper on it in our district," Wittman said. "It just changes what a candidate has to do to raise money."
Running for office costs money, and a lot of it. Many qualified candidates just don't have the personal wealth or access to money that's required to be seen as a viable candidate. In New Jersey in 2007, the average cost of winning House seat in New Jersey was $266,000 and $518,000 in the Senate, according to the Institute on Money in State Politics.
We're with Wittman. We hope New Jersey keeps Clean Elections.