This year's New Jersey gubernatorial election was the second most costly in state history.
The $79.1 million spent on the June primary and November's general election was exceeded only by the $88.1 million in the 2005 race when Jon Corzine and Doug Forrester spent a lot of their own money on their campaigns.
New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission executive director Jeff Brindle says heavy spending this year was inevitable.
"Governor Christie was not running for reelection. And we had New Jersey and Virginia as the only two states where there was a race for governor. So, I think those factors contributed to the increase in funding this year."
Brindle says this year the candidates spent $54.6 million while independent groups spent a record $24.5 million.
"To have that kind of influence when a lot of that is anonymous, and not disclosed in terms of contributors and their spending, and to have that kind of influence over the outcome of the election, is really not good for the process."
Brindle says some of the independent groups voluntarily disclosed contributions and expenditures. He plans to meet with legislative leaders to push for better transparency so voters would know who provided the funds.
“And I’m always cautiously optimistic that based on the experience of this election that there will be renewed interest in moving some of this legislation forward and finally enacting it.”