As I've mentioned in the past few weeks, there is plenty to point out when it comes to politicians who have made a mess of New Jersey.

Billions in rising debt and unfunded future pension and health liabilities, dangerous bail reform releasing perpetrators within hours of arrest, roads, and bridges in disrepair, rising taxes, and crushing small business regulation. And of course, the misguided energy master plan that will have New Jersey looking more like California with spiking energy costs and rolling blackouts.

The good news is that there is a rising concern among average New Jerseyans about the direction of our state and politicians are taking notice. The incoming leader for the Republicans in the state Senate is among those political leaders offering solutions and setting the stage for a fight that will hopefully lead to progress.

Senator Tony Bucco joined me on air to discuss his plan to bring back common sense to the government in Trenton. He discussed the new legislative map, the leg is at top of the ticket. Usually low turnout cycles. That favors the GOP polling numbers showing that Murphy's numbers are down.

Sen. Anthony Bucco takes the oath of office to fill the term left vacant by the death of his father. (Photo by Senate Republican Office)
Sen. Anthony Bucco takes the oath of office to fill the term left vacant by the death of his father. (Photo by Senate Republican Office)

Also joining me a little later in the morning was Steve Stern who heads up an effort to motivate voters to fill local party committee seats.

What most don't know is that in New Jersey there is tremendous power in the county organizations, and chairmen who preside over a high number of vacancies are less likely to be held accountable.

There are a few counties in New Jersey where most of the seats are vacant providing a huge opportunity for those of us who want to make significant changes across the state. Out of 12,737 seats in 21 NJ counties, there are more than 5,000 openings.

From a vacancy perspective, the county that tops the list in the state is Cumberland where a reported 77% of the seats are vacant. In Burlington 55% are vacant and in Monmouth nearly a third are open.

The GOP has been plagued for years with political operatives more interested in their own personal power instead of growing a sustainable majority. The politics of division and ego prevent a lot of new people from rising to the call to help us fix New Jersey. But that can end this year.

The more normal people outside of the process who get involved, the more we can hold these leaders accountable and in some cases elect new leaders to help us implement a common sense strategy across the state.

As Steve explained it's actually very easy for average people to get involved and make a difference. It all starts with a call to the county clerk to find out if the seat in your voting district is open and if so then ask if the seats are filled in June or in November. The petitions are typically printable from the website and need only a few signatures.

For most vacancies, you'll likely be the only person on the ballot. This paves the way for average New Jerseyans to have their voices heard in the back room. Help me shine a light on the process that can be a starting point for ushering in an era of common sense.

If you are ready to help me turn New Jersey around, get involved by calling (954) 318-6902, email, or visit

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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