There’s very little doubt remaining that NJ 101.5 Morning Host Bill Spadea is serious – very serious – about a 2025 gubernatorial candidacy.
On Thursday morning, Spadea launched the “Elect Common Sense” continuing political committee which, according to the group’s inaugural release, will be “focused on supporting candidates who stand for common sense values shared by citizens and taxpayers across the Garden State” during the 2023 legislative cycle.
“Tackling illegal immigration, rising crime, depression and anxiety among school kids and the out-of-control cost of living, fueled by irresponsible borrowing, spending and taxation from Trenton insiders will top the organization’s priorities,” the release continues. “The group will work hard to reverse woke culture dominating our schools and government institutions while empowering families and those on the front lines of education, health care and combating crime.”
The entire legislature is on the ballot in 2023, and a new post-census map has given Republicans some reason for hope of a chance of flipping at least one house of the legislature for the first time in two decades if, of course, the stars align close to perfectly next fall.
Spadea for his part has spent much of the past year actively making the rounds across the state ahead of an anticipated gubernatorial campaign launch at some point in 2024. Considered a populist conservative, Spadea’s new group cast a wide net on Thursday by declaring that “Democrats, Independents and Republicans are rejecting the professional politicians in Trenton and are ready for a new, responsible and effective majority.” Spadea boosters believe that his popular radio program substantiates his appeal to blue collar Democrats and other non-traditional GOP voting groups which a successful statewide Republican nominee would need to win.
“Like you, I am sick and tired of the culture of acceptance that has been beaten into us by Trenton politicians on both sides of the aisle,” Spadea added in an announcement video. “Accepting their high taxes. Accepting higher tolls, crumbling roads. Accepting a radical school curriculum and accepting busloads of illegal border crossers. Accepting prisoners being let out before they complete their sentences. And, perhaps worst of all, accepting losing November after November.”
It’s still very early in the pre-pre-2025 cycle, but the shadow primary is currently a one-on-one battle between Spadea and his allies (including Ocean County’s George Gilmore and the political firm of ex-White House Political Director Bill Stepien) and the organization of 2021 nominee Jack Ciattarelli who announced a third bid for governor immediately upon conceding the ’21 race to Phil Murphy.