Many of my political friends, especially those who hold office, get annoyed when I mention that I love primary elections. Most politicians who fight to get into office, want to stay as long as possible and would rather not have to defend their records in a contested primary and then again in the November general election.

For me, I think it makes them better candidates in November having gone through a battle where they can't take the nomination for granted. That said, some primaries are better than others.

Some candidates challenge the incumbents to defend their records and discuss the votes that perhaps they wish no one noticed! In other cases, challenges step up at the behest of the elites in the back room because they don't think the incumbent is a "fit."

What this typically means is an outsider who isn't a part of the "club" of insider lawyers, consultants, and wannabe power players. We're seeing this play out in the 3rd Legislative District which covers Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties.

Senator Ed Durr, who you know as "Ed The Trucker," the guy who defeated the most powerful legislator in Trenton, Senate President Steve Sweeney.

Edward Durr
Edward Durr (Edward Durr)

Senator Durr speaks for regular New Jerseyans and understands the struggle for financial survival in the Garden State. He respects and fights for the rights of parents, teachers, first responders, veterans, and citizens with special needs. He deserves to be re-elected for sure.

His opponent betrayed her own team and left the ticket to challenge Ed in a primary. Having met with her myself, it's clear to me that the race has nothing to do with Ed's record nor does it have to do with ideas to help people. Seems it's all about a feeling among insider elites that Ed isn't "their type of Republican." Translation, he's a working-class guy who speaks for normal people that don't hang out at fancy country clubs or "wining and dining" at elite clubs.

The mutual admiration club of elites who have helped wreck the GOP by excluding working and middle-class voices for decades are trying one last attempt to keep guys like Ed the Trucker down. It's misguided and will only harm the effort for the GOP to offer a much-needed voice for average people. I'll be campaigning for Senator Durr in May, including knocking on doors in Gloucester and Cumberland County.

One candidate who stands out in a very good way is my friend Mark Taylor who is running for re-election in Florham Park, Morris County.

He's a standup guy who has secured critical funds from the Federal Government for his town and has managed to support infrastructure improvements and slowed the out-of-control over-development plaguing so many towns across the state. He is one of the top mayors in the state managing to reduce and near eliminate debt and offering creative solutions to affordable housing which actually helps people in need.

Another hotly contested race that is going to be a close race heading into June 6 is the race for Joe Pennachio's Senate Seat in Morris and Passaic counties. Joe joined me on air to discuss his battle for re-election and we discussed his strong opposition to Murphy and the woke agenda of the Democrats.

Joe was one of the few legislators who actually stood strong against Murphy throughout the lockdowns.

Geeta Chopra (left) Senator Joe Pennachio (right) photo courtesy of Geeta Chopra
Geeta Chopra (left) Senator Joe Pennachio (right) photo courtesy of Geeta Chopra

His opponent is Morris County Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo who is fresh off a huge re-election win in Morris County despite the efforts of backroom insider Laura Ali to defeat him.

Tom Mastrangelo (Photo:
Tom Mastrangelo (Photo:

Ali is having her own problems as many accuse her of running the Morris County organization into the ground with a weak line that has been consistently losing county coffers which are reportedly among the worst among the county organizations.

Opposition to her is rising dramatically after she tossed county committee members who had been supporters of her county line in a fit of Nixon-era paranoia.

Mastrangelo and Pennachio will duke it out to the end and the voters will have a say on who is the best fighter to take on Murphy in his last two years as governor and then help usher in a new wave of GOP leadership that voters are counting on to save this great state.

Pay attention to this race and others as common-sense Republicans are on the rise across the state looking to build a stronger, more appealing GOP to take on the majority Democrats who have damaged our state so much over the past 20-plus years.

Help is on the way, see you on the trail!

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.

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