New Jersey election law officials say spending was at an all-time high in last month's state elections in a record driven by independent interest groups.

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Total spending was $124 million according to a preliminary report made public Thursday by the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.

With both Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic challenger Barbara Buono both accepting public funding and accepting spending caps, the spending in their race was $21 million. That is only about one-fourth as much as was spent in the 2005 governor's race.

Independent groups poured nearly $41 million into elections across the state, by far a record.

The report also says a ballot question on minimum wage also attracted record spending at nearly $3 million. Even adjusted for inflation, it ranked third in New Jersey history.


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