It's a battle that will determine who will represent parts of Morris County and Passaic counties in the state Legislature.

In heavy Republican Morris, which dominates the geography of the new district, the party insiders selected the incumbents to get the so-called "party line." Although since Morris County adopted a "party line" it's been less than helpful for the candidates receiving the nod.

Just last year, Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo was removed from the line by the insiders and won an impressive victory. The main reason for his victory is he focused on issues that real people want to hear about. He called out his opponent for being involved in a drag queen story hour at a local library and made the case for parental rights which were largely ignored by the insiders and their candidate.

Now Tom is back in a battle this time running for the State Senate and challenging the current senator, Joe Pennachio.

Tom Mastrangelo (Photo:
Tom Mastrangelo (Photo:

Tom is focusing again on the issues that are critical to average New Jerseyans. Illegal immigration, which is draining our resources and taking thousands of jobs away from New Jerseyans in the trades, is among his top issues.

That plus his record as a Morris County commissioner led the way to keep tax hikes at ZERO and reduce debt by nearly $60 million. He's a fighter and he was one of the first voices to call out the Democratic majority on coddling criminals and empowering illegals at the expense of our citizens and veterans.

On Tuesday night I'll be the special guest at an event hosted by my friend John Sette, former chairman of the Morris County GOP, at the Grand Cafe in Morristown. We'll be talking about how the Morris County organization needs leaders like Tom Mastrangelo to fight.

Spadea event
Spadea event

We need to bring the fight to Trenton. We need aggressive leaders unafraid of the backroom elites who try to manipulate the process by keeping good people out. We need thoughtful leaders who won't stand for a holiday honoring the radical and anti-police BLM movement as one of Pennachio's running mates voted to enact.

We need smart leaders who won't vote to empower the bureaucrats in the Department of Education to decide what is fake and real news and instead empower parents.

We need strong leaders who won't vote for budgets that contain millions in taxpayer subsidies for illegals.

We need a change in Trenton. It's time for a wake-up call to Republicans. Stand up, fight back, and speak for New Jersey. With 58% of the district brand new, there is a limited incumbent advantage this year and it's anybody's race.

Check out the analysis and town list from the NJ 101.5 news staff:


COUNTIES: Morris (81%) and Passaic (19%)

MUNICIPALITIES: Boonton, Denville, East Hanover, Florham Park, Hanover, Lincoln Park, Montville, Morris Plains, Mountain Lakes, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Pequannock, and Riverdale in Morris County; and Bloomingdale, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood and Wanaque in Passaic County

ADDS: Bloomingdale, Boonton, Denville, East Hanover, Florham Park, Hanover, Mountain Lakes, Pequannock, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, Riverdale, Wanaque (58% of the district)

LOSES: Butler, Fairfield (Essex), Jefferson, Kinnelon, North Caldwell, Rockaway Township, Verona, West Caldwell, West Milford

2020 POPULATION: 226,146 (2.6% below)

DEMOGRAPHICS: White 67%, Asian 17%, Hispanic 10%, Black 3%, Multiracial 3%

2021 GOVERNOR’S RACE: Ciattarelli +14 (Was Ciattarelli +15)

INCUMBENTS: Sen. Joe Pennacchio (GOP), Asm. Brian Bergen (GOP), Asm. Jay Webber (GOP)

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.

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

Top 20 highest average property tax bills in NJ for 2022

Based on the average residential property tax bill for each town in New Jersey in 2022, these are the 20 highest.

The 30 worst rated schools in New Jersey

Here are the 30 lowest-rated schools statewide, based on their 2021-2022 New Jersey School Performance Reports — involving scores for language arts, math and attendance. (For an explanation of how the state calculates the "accountability indicator scores" and overall rating for each school, see page 90 of this reference guide.)

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM