ELIZABETH — Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage filed reports with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) showing the incumbent with a huge financial advantage over his challenger, Oscar Ocasio.
According to the reports, Bollwage had $544,781 in the bank, compared to his challenger’s available balance of $7,462.
Ocasio emerged as a candidate after Bollwage fired him as the municipal director of economic development but the challenger says he has since been exonerated by federal agents investigating multi-million dollar fraud allegations.
During the first quarter of 2012, Bollwage raised $143,574 and spent $61,020 while Ocasio reported raising $25,312 and making $17,850 worth of expenditures.
While the political faction that controls the Elizabeth Board of Education has been gaining strength in primary elections in recent years, Ocasio’s candidacy appears likely to stunt that momentum.
Besides failing to achieve financial parity with Bollwage, Ocasio’s slate has been reduced as a result of legal challenges to their petitions, which removed four of his running mates from the ballot.
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