The election is (sort of) over. Here’s why NJ is still winning (Opinion)
What a night. Election Day is certainly one of my favorite days of the year and this one did not disappoint. As of this post, the race for governor is too close to call with the incumbent Democrat leading by a couple of thousand votes.
Given that there are still many "vote by mail" ballots and early voting ballots to count, plus several voting districts in heavy Democratic areas out, it's very likely that Murphy will be re-elected. Either way, it's what happened at the local level that is the real story.
Let me explain why there is still HUGE news for regular people in the Garden State.
First of all, hundreds of first-time candidates emerged at the local level turning the tide of corruption and complacency with so many school boards across the state. Secondly, it looks like as many as three Democratic state senators may be out of a job including Senate President Steve Sweeney.
Losing the top of the ticket is irrelevant now that the local surge of real people has gutted the power of the Democratic majority.
Regardless of how the final votes are tallied, the real victory on Tuesday is from the hundreds of first-time candidates including many moms who decided to take charge in local school districts.
Losing the top of the ticket is irrelevant now that the local surge of real people has gutted the power of the Democratic majority. Truth is, there's a great lesson for future GOP statewide candidates. Don't attack your own base. In the last couple of weeks leading up to Election Day, candidate Jack Ciattarelli chose to attack President Trump instead of the very unpopular Joe Biden who is out of touch with many NJ Democrats.
How many votes did his Trump-bashing cost him? How many people simply didn't vote for him or split their vote because he refused to promise to sign executive orders ending the masks and vaccine mandates? It's one thing for a politician to say whatever a group needs to hear to cast a vote, it's another to make a solid commitment to change.
No matter who is governor in the next four years, local is where the power lives.
If Jack ends up on top, thankfully there are hundreds of thousands of angry parents and business owners to hold him accountable to revere Murphy's madness. If Phil stays in office, the same is true. He's got no mandate and his policies have really been repudiated by the vote counts at this stage. So, new candidates, new legislators, and a motivated parent and small business movement ready to restore economic, civil, and medical freedom to the Garden State. 2022 is around the corner and in 2023 there's a shot at building a new majority in the state senate.
No matter who is governor in the next four years, local is where the power lives. Your local voice is strong to either push a GOP governor to act on behalf of freedom or stop a Democrat in his tracks from taking away liberty. Either way, NJ is getting back on track.
Admittedly, I make a lot of mistakes. But I don't make the same mistake twice. In 2009 I joined many conservative and moderate GOPers to help elect Chris Christie governor. It happened without any real groundswell at the local level. The top-down approach was a disaster. Chirs was a bad governor who helped increase taxes, spending, and debt. No solution for small businesses and families as he focused on a promotion to the White House. This time, I left it up to the GOP nominee for governor to step up and EARN that support all the while focusing on the local level.
The strategy worked. Jack should be thanking me and all of you for the additional votes he received as local candidates worked tirelessly to turn out the anti-Murphy vote. Let's not forget the real focus. Restoring liberty in New Jersey so we can return this state to the place where people want to live, work, raise families, vacation, and retire. Victory is near. But it's gonna take a couple more years.
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.