By Rachael Crismond
CCC Journalism Program

Camden County residents donate money to the candidates they support, saying it is their civic duty.

Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has been funded mainly by small contributors, with donations of $200 or less making up nearly 40 percent of her campaign’s $62 million haul, according to The Washington Post.  Clinton’s campaign said more than 2.7 million people have contributed to her bid.

“My firm, RP Consulting, has helped raise over $90,000 for the Camden County Democratic Committee second quarter of the election,” said Jessica Stewart, 31, a fundraiser consultant for RP Consulting Firm in Cherry Hill.

Republican Donald Trump stated, “I am using my own money,” when he announced he was running for president. “I’m not using the lobbyist. I am not using donors. I’m really rich,” he said.

However, Trump’s campaign website has a “contributions page” and Trump began taking contributions in February 2016. Trump has donated $36 million to his campaign, making up nearly three-quarters of the funds he has raised so far, according to The Wall Street Journal. Other donations have amounted to $13 million.

Local Republican firms did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

The amount of money raised by the Democrats was $882,393,056 and the amount raised by the Republicans was $690,282,406 as of Oct. 12, 2016, according to Federal Election Commission data.

Paul Horvath, 31, an information technology specialist for the Gloucester Township Public Schools, has donated $1,000 to the Republican Party for the 2016 election.

“It is my civic duty to donate to the party,” said Horvath, noting he has contributed to the Republicans for the last seven years. His family has been Republican his whole life.

“Like how Christians tithe and give to the church, my family would give to the Republicans. It wasn’t just for the president. We gave to the senators, congressmen and super delegates,” Horvath said, noting his family was close to the mayor of his hometown in upstate New York and gave much more than he gives. He said he remains working class and believes in Trump’s principles.

James and Edith Ellerbe, owners of J&A Limousine Service in Laurel Springs, said they believe in donating to the Democrats. They donated $250 to Clinton’s campaign.

“Just like you support your favorite football team by paying for tickets to see their game, you should give money to the party you support,” said James Ellerbe, 66. “Being a political donor is something that makes us feel good.”

Edith Ellerbe, 70, stated, “We are supporting a female president. This is history in the making.”

Jessica Stewart and women working for the Democratic Party attend a fundraising event on Oct. 20. By Rachael Crismond, CCC Journalism Program

Jessica Stewart and women working for the Democratic Party attend a fundraising event on Oct. 20. By Rachael Crismond, CCC Journalism Program

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