June 5, 2023
By Senator Michael Testa, Jr.
Tomorrow, New Jersey voters will be tasked with the responsibility of selecting their candidates for the 2023 Senate and General Assembly elections across our state. This primary season is pitting Republican against Republican and Democrat against Democrat in hotly contested races, with voters from the far North of the State to its very Southern tip (and even in mythical Central Jersey) examining who is best qualified to represent their interests in Trenton. Easily lost in the negative ads and constant infighting is what needs to be clear for all New Jersey voters: the November elections are the Murphy Midterms, and an incredible chance to tell our out-of-touch Governor that his mandate is over.
Each race and district is unique, and selecting the person who best represents you is essential, but it’s important to make sure we keep our eye on the prize: saying no to Governor Phil Murphy and his weird and Woke policies in November. Republican candidates who prevail will be keeping this in mind, and so should the voters. Let’s be clear: less than half of voters approve of Murphy’s job in office. Half think the state is headed in the wrong direction. Speaking to those frustrated voters is how we win elections.
That’s how I won a tough race in 2019. South Jersey voters were fed up; we had enough of Governor Murphy’s failed policies. What happened? Along with my running mates Erik Simonsen and Antwan McClellan, we flipped the First Legislative District. This feat had not been accomplished in 28 years. And we did it in a year where Republicans were not predicted to be successful. Since then, I have fought vigorously for South Jersey, and delivered key wins: from suing Trenton bureaucrats to re-open South Jersey’s economy, to providing relief to working families and small businesses, to forcing Murphy to re-open the MVC. That’s how we went from a close fight in 2019 to a dominant victory in 2021. And it’s how we flipped Cumberland County from blue to red – and how we took multi-year control of county government for the first time in 40 years.
Murphy’s near-defeat in 2021 tells us all we need to know: New Jerseyans from across the political spectrum aren’t down with his Woke, weird agenda. Not only did we almost knock off Murphy, we flipped six legislative seats, and laid the groundwork for even more this year. New Jerseyans from across the political spectrum want legislators who are going to fight for New Jersey. They’re going to vote for candidates who’ll support law enforcement, fight for parental rights in education, and value economic opportunity for their families.
In the last two years since his shocking near-upset, Governor Murphy has doubled down, proposing a school budget plan that would obliterate funding for students across the Garden State. He’s forced offshore wind on the backs of our vacation hotspots, fishermen and wildlife, and expanded state spending on countless meaningless pet projects. He can’t seem to find $150 million to fund schools, but he does have $150 million of nonsense, including $3.6 million for a castle in Paterson, $1 million for his own furniture and vehicles, and $12 million for a French Museum in Jersey City, he expects taxpayers to pay for.
Phil Murphy’s agenda is ridiculous, and making it harder for working people to succeed in the state we are all choosing to live and raise our families in. We need a change in Trenton, and that starts with electing a majority of smart, principled Republicans to oppose the Murphy agenda.
I encourage everyone reading this to vote in the upcoming primary elections for those Republican candidates who are most likely to successfully oppose Murphy’s radical agenda, and who care about good jobs, safe schools, and opportunities for New Jerseyans of all walks of life. This message appeals far beyond our party, because it’s a message everyone but Phil Murphy understands: we want a state that is good to working people, where anybody who works hard and plays by the rules can succeed.
We’re circling the wagons on Murphy’s failed governorship here in Trenton. Now we need the support of voters to elect strong, conservative leadership, who will stand up to and block his woke agenda. It all starts on June 6th.
Senator Michael L. Testa, Jr. is a State Senator representing New Jersey’s First Legislative District which includes Atlantic, Cape May, & Cumberland Counties. He is a dad, husband, and leader in fighting for the needs of New Jersey’s working families.