It's true, and it has been for many decades. When you travel, you hear about all the bad things that people associate with our great state.

When I was growing up, it was all about the Turnpike and the smell of industry when people passed through. You'd get asked everywhere outside the state, "what exit" referring to the narrative that we are all assigned an exit for our local town.

New Jersey Turnpike sign - Photo: Google Maps
New Jersey Turnpike sign - Photo: Google Maps

Then the reputation turned to everyone thinking NJ was defined as being "mobbed up" in no small part due to the wild success of the HBO hit, "The Sopranos".

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HBO's "The Sopranos" 25th Anniversary Celebration
Getty Images

I think the reputation comes in part from what I've called the "Jersey edge". We don't have a lot of patience; you'll get beeped from the car behind you even at a red light in anticipation of the light turning green.

Jodi and I spent a few days this week in New Orleans as guests at the Republican Governor's Association. It was not surprising that many of the attendees from across the country had an opinion about New Jersey. Yes, we still have a negative reputation around the nation. But, it's not about turnpike exits, industrial smells, or mafia bosses. It's about the radical politics of the current administration occupying Trenton.

State of the State-New Jersey

The fact that NJ is a sanctuary state through Murphy's executive order in 2018 offering free handouts to illegals, including legal assistance to fight deportation, and even some Republicans, including the guy who's already lost twice for governor, advocating for driver's licenses for illegals.

The "revolving door" for criminals through the misguided policy known as "bail reform" has perps getting out of lock-up before the police are finished with the paperwork. We have an unworkable energy plan being pushed by radicals and extremists welcomed into the halls of government by the elite, out-of-touch democratic governor.

Hand in jail
anurakpong GettyImages

I had a great opportunity to address some of the governors and sponsors at a roundtable focused on energy policy and education and the response was hopeful. Eyes from around the nation are fixed on New Jersey for the 2024 election to see if we can close the gap with the Democrats and then in 2025 where New Jersey is poised to elect a new Republican governor to focus on implementing common sense policies which will make our schools stronger, empower parents, kids and teachers, drive down the cost of living, lower debt, spending and taxes and make our communities safer. All are on the ballot next year.

We've seen the success of Red governors in other Blue states solve the problems created by radical democrats and weak republicans over the years. New Jersey can be next.

Make sure to stop by one of my events when you can.

LOOK: Fastest-growing jobs in New Jersey

Stacker analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine which jobs in New Jersey grew the fastest between 2022 and 2023.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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.

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