School board member Manny Martinez spent twice as much money as Michael Jackson on his unsuccessful bid for the 1st Ward city council seat during the November special election, according to New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) filings.
Jackson reported he spent $2,967 in the election which catapulted the business owner to a council seat after an unsuccessful run for an at-large seat last year. Jackson reported a $2,500 donation from real estate developer Charles Florio’s company JCM Investors. He also received a $600 contribution from city-based Dyerich Chemical Corporation, according to his campaign filings.
Jackson spent much of his campaign cash on printing t-shirts, election signs, and taking out ads in local newspapers, according to his campaign filings. Jackson spent $1,468 on t-shirts, $575 on newspaper ads, and $975 on election signs, according to his campaign filings. The business owner who operates Jacksonville Restaurant on Grand Street had $21 left on his campaign account, according to state filings.
Martinez reported he spent $6,638 on the special election, according to his 29-day pre-election campaign finance report.
The state’s database did not show an 11-day pre-election or a 20-day post-election report for Martinez. Joe Donohue, deputy director for ELEC, on Wednesday afternoon confirmed the state has not received Martinez’s 11-day pre-election report or his 20-day post-election report.
Martinez likely spent much more than $6,638 on his abortive election campaign.
Martinez could not be reached for comments on Wednesday morning.
The school board member expended most of his campaign money on graphic design, mailing, and campaign event food. His report shows he spent $1,000 on graphic design, $1,200 on mailing, and more than $1,100 on food for various campaign events, according to his filings.
Martinez and Jackson contested former 1st Ward councilman Anthony Davis’s council seat. The former councilman pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a purported developer and received a two-year prison sentence earlier in the year.
Davis’ term expires on June 30th, 2016. Other candidates in the race were Bernard Jones, Veronica Ovalles, and Alveria Spencer.
Spencer dropped out of the race after she received criticism from the city’s African-American community over her use of a historically offensive word.
Ovalles spent under $4,500 on her bid for the council seat, according to her campaign filings. She received a $2,500 contribution from Santos V. Sorce of Hackensack which she reported, according to his campaign filings. She filed a one-time form A-1 certifying her campaign would not expend more than $4,500 on the campaign.
Donohue said generally a candidate who submits an A-1 form is not required to file pre and post-election reports. However, in the event a candidate receives reportable contributions, spends more than the cap, or makes large expenditures she is required to submit other forms, according to ELEC.
Bernard Jones did not file any campaign reports for the 1st Ward special election. He said on Tuesday afternoon he has to check with his accountant on the status of his reports.
Both Jones and Martinez have missed the filing deadlines. Campaign finance reports allow the public to see where a candidate is obtaining funds to fuel his campaign. Many candidates in past elections have been criticized for failing to file campaign finance reports in a timely fashion.
A violation of the campaign finance regulations carry a $7,600 penalty per incident, according to state laws.