With 2025 looming large, Spadea hits the trail in GOP ’23 primary battlegrounds

Primary 2023 felt more like Primary 2025 during the cycle’s final weekend, Save Jerseyans, with likely 2025 GOP candidate Bill Spadea stumping with his preferred candidates in Tuesday’s three major battlegrounds: LD3, LD4, and LD24.

The NJ 101.5 morning host has thrown his support this cycle behind the Gloucester County Republican organization of Jacci Vigilante and her candidate slates in South Jersey’s 3rd and 4th legislative districts. Up in North Jersey, he’s sided with the opposition to presumptive State Senate nominee Parker Space’s Assembly running mates.

“Door knocking for common sense candidates in Blackwood today! Fantastic grassroots group and this is just our first stop!” Spadea tweeted from an LD4 campaign stop.

The specifics of the South Jersey intra-party contests have been at least somewhat overshadowed by statewide concerns. Spadea vs. Ciattarelli appears to be the most likely GOP match up as of now though admittedly the 2025 cycle remains a couple of political lifetimes in the future. In one corner is Vigilante, Spadea, and Spadea’s newfound ally George Gilmore who is working on reconstituting his control of the Ocean GOP organization after an extended absence engendered by tax charges (Gilmore was later pardoned by Donald Trump); the other corner is occupied by a coalition of chairmen led by Atlantic County’s Don Purdy who are arguably more hostile to Vigilante and what they argue is her poor candidate selection in choosing Nick DeSilivio as her LD4 Senate candidate than they are truly “pro-Ciattarelli,” but political realities may be making a 2025 marriage a fait accompli.

How the results in these respective districts impact 2025 remains to be seen.

A win by Spadea-backed candidates on Tuesday could allow the gubernatorial hopeful to argue that there’s a movement afoot and, unlike the last GOP governor, he has the ability to generate coattails. Conversely, a loss in 3 and 4 in particular would arguably strengthen the anti-Spadea/Gilmore bloc and put Vigilante at heightened risk of losing control of the county party; without the formidable Vigilante in Glouco, Spadea risks a possible shutout of South Jersey county party support in two years.


Matt Rooney
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MATT ROONEY is SaveJersey.com's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.