As I make my way around the state campaigning for dozens of local candidates, it's clear that there is an energy this year that we haven't seen since 1993.

The year 1993 was significant because it was a statewide election where the momentum shifted toward Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Whitman. "Florio Free in '93" was the slogan of the year.

Christine Whittman (Photo via Getty Images)
Christine Whitman (Photo via Getty Images)

Whitman went on to defeat the incumbent Democrat Jim Florio by just over 26,000 votes out of nearly 2.5 million cast.

This year, there is no statewide candidate so the attention has turned to local races.

This is the first time in decades that we're seeing the energy from voters starting at the local level and potentially creating an "up-ballot" surge.

Typically, it's a state or national candidate that has "coattails" driving up the vote "down the ballot." This year, it's the locals who may help carry Senate and Assembly candidates over the top.

All the NJ candidates endorsed by Bill Spadea in this election

Election 2023: Here's a list of the 80+ candidates that New Jersey 101.5 morning host Bill Spadea is campaigning for this year. Click the link for more information on each.

Gallery Credit: Bill Spadea

Several local candidates joined the show this week to make their final appeal to voters:

Don Lemma

Running for County Commissioner in Somerset County

Joe Lukac

Running for Mayor in Manville

Micheline Attieh

Running for State Senate in LD 38, Bergen County


Running for school board in Greenwich, Warren County - Column 1

Daniel Bell

Running for Lacey Board of Education

Competitive NJ school board races fall 2023

In time for November elections, 1,804 board of education candidates have been registered around New Jersey, for a total of 1,487 open seats.

These are not evenly spread — some boards have zero candidates for an available spot, while others have more than three candidates vying for each seat. The following competitive races are based on data from the New Jersey School Board Association.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM