One day after kicking off her campaign for Governor on Feb. 2, 2013, Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate for Governor, Senator Barbara Buono has announced that she has raised enough money to qualify for matching funds. Sara Ferrill, the campaign's finance director, confirmed that the campaign had raised more than $380,000 by February 1.
It would appear that Garden State Democrats are going to skip a primary campaign as Buono is the only candidate to throw her hat into the ring to face off against incumbent Governor Chris Christie, a wise move by the party since they will need all the money they can get to try to unseat Christie whose approval numbers set a record for a sitting Governor. Buono was the unlikely candidate before Hurricane Sandy came to town. Christie was still quite popular before that but his handling and leadership through the storm and since has met with wide support even among democratic voters. Before that, there were a handful of candidates jockeying for position to take on Christie, but one by one they all decided not to run which left Buono a clear path to the nomination.
Ferrill stated “Senator Buono has found support in all corners of New Jersey. Small donors from all across the state invested what they could afford to help bring real leadership to Trenton. Their generous contributions help formed a broad and diverse coalition that, coupled with the outpouring of support at yesterday's rally, shows that our campaign has struck a nerve in the Garden State. Without question, our campaign will have the necessary resources to compete and win this November."
Some pundits call Buono the “sacrificial lamb” for the party by taking on Christie and Buono herself acknowledges she is a “grass roots” candidate and seems to relish the thought of being the underdog. It’s not the first time she has been in this position in her political career, her campaign has its work cut for them, but in Jersey, the politics and the polls can change just as fast as the weather does.