New Jersey state Sen. Barbara Buono waves to a gathering of supporters Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, after she officially kicked off her campaign for New Jersey governor with a rally in New Brunswick, N.J. New Jersey's largest teachers union endorsed Democrat Barbara Buono's bid to unseat Republican Gov. Chris Christie. The vow of support for Buono, a state senator from Metuchen, was announced Saturday, March 16, 2013. The NJEA's political action committee, representing members in every county, had voted unanimously Friday night to endorse Buono. (AP Photo/Mel Evans,file)
Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono has stepped up fundraising in her run for governor but still lags far behind incumbent Chris Christie when it comes to collecting campaign contributions and spending them.
The state Election Law Enforcement Commission says that through June 24, Buono had brought in $3 million and Christie just under $7 million.
Public opinion polls have also shown Christie with a wide lead in winning voters.
Both campaigns spent nearly all they had brought in.
Buono's coffers include money from a state matching program that gives her $2 for every $1 she raises privately after the first $122,000.
The Republican Christie is forgoing the program and the campaign spending limits that come with it.
Despite Buono's aid from the public fund, she fell fall short of reaching the maximum public match before the June 4 primary. That would have given her $5.6 million total to spend for the primary.
But in the latest report, covering a 31-day period ending June 24, she did bring in more than Christie, $642,000 to $372,000.
ELEC also found that Democratic legislative candidates are outraising Republicans by more than a 2 to 1 margin, and that incumbents from both parties had more than $12 on hand for every $1 their challengers had.
The state agency is also attempting to track election spending by outside groups, many of which are not required to report their expenditures.
ELEC has tracked $14.8 million in such contributions using a variety of reports, including some by news media. The outside spending by groups on the left and right has already eclipsed the $14 million that ELEC tallied in 2009, the last time New Jersey elected a governor.