TRENTON, N.J. – The two millionaires vying to be New Jersey's next governor have used a combined $45 million of their personal fortunes for their campaigns, making it the most expensive gubernatorial race in state history.
Democrat Jon Corzine (search), the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, spent nearly $4 million of his own money during the primary race, and he was unopposed. For the general election, Corzine has spent $19.5 million of his own wealth, according to reports made public Wednesday by the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Doug Forrester (search), the Republican co-owner of BeneCard Services Inc., a prescription drug company, spent $11.2 million in his primary race against six opponents. For the general election, he has lent himself $10.5 million.
Both candidates have said they were willing to spend much of their own fortunes on their campaigns, but are still collecting individual donations as well as contributions from their respective state and national party organizations.
The race between this year's candidates has tightened, with Forrester gaining ground on Corzine, according to a new poll. Forty-four percent of likely voters surveyed in the latest Fairleigh Dickinson University-PublicMind poll released Tuesday said they favor Corzine, while 38 percent backed Forrester.
The November election is one of only two governor's races in the nation this year. The other is in Virginia.