🔴 Radio host Bill Spadea running for governor of New Jersey

⚪ Spadea joins a crowded race to succeed Gov. Murphy

🔵 Will Spadea remain on the air?

TRENTON — Media personality and longtime New Jersey 101.5 morning host Bill Spadea made it official, launching his campaign for governor.

"I'm an outsider they can't control and because I'm unapologetically conservative: Pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and pro-Trump," Spadea says in a nearly 3-minute campaign video released Monday morning.

Speaking over images of a "drag queen story hour" and headlines about crimes committed by people in the country illegally, Spadea says he is "running for governor to fight for you."

"I'll make the tough budget cuts that scare the career politicians. We'll fix the way we fund schools so suburban parents pay less property tax. Give kids an education at school, not indoctrination. "We'll stop Joe Biden from using our state as a dumping ground for his illegals and end the handouts they get from Phil Murphy and weak sellout Republicans."

Bill Spadea and Joe Theismann
Bill Spadea and Joe Theismann

Spadea joins an already crowded race in the wide-open 2025 contest. Gov. Phil Murphy is barred from running again because of term limits.

Political observers say Spadea had been hinting at a run for at least a year. He launched the Common Sense Club political action committee in 2023, supporting local and statewide candidates in every election. Last year, a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll on potential candidates found he had high favorability and name recognition among GOP voters.

Spadea, a 55-year-old Marine veteran and married father of two who lives in Princeton, has been honing his conservative and populist message for many years as a TV and radio broadcaster following a career in real estate. He has been the morning show host on New Jersey 101.5 since 2015 and previously anchored a nightly local news program on WWOR-TV and Fox 29 in Philadelphia.

In 2016, he used his show to rally against the gas tax supported by then-Gov. Chris Christie. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he forcefully opposed restrictions and mandates issued by public health authorities and his show became a haven for those who questioned the efficacy of the COVID vaccines.

Jodi Spadea, President Trump, Bill Spadea (Photo Courtesy of Trump Campaign)
Jodi Spadea, President Trump, Bill Spadea (Photo Courtesy of Trump Campaign)

His past campaigns for office included an unsuccessful bid in 2004 to unseat Democratic congressman Rush Holt in the 12th Congressional District and an unsuccessful convention contest in 2012 for an open Assembly seat.

Spadea enters a race that on the GOP side already includes Jack Ciattarelli, who lost to Murphy three years ago, and state Sen. Jon Bramnick, R-Union, who is running as a Republican opposed to Donald Trump. Ed Durr, a trucker who unseated State Senate boss Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, in 2021 but lost re-election last year, is also running.

Despite ads by a Ciattarelli-aligned PAC calling into question Spadea’s support of Trump, the former president recorded an interview with Spadea before a rally in Wildwood last month. During that conversation, the presidential candidate criticized Ciattarelli’s electoral performance and fealty to the MAGA movement.

Jodi and Bill Spadea
Jodi and Bill Spadea

On the Democratic side, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, New Jersey Education Association president Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller, and Sweeney have declared their candidacies.

Although candidates and PACs are already running ads, the campaign is not expected to heat up until after the presidential election this year. In the meantime, Spadea will continue his morning show — for now.

Townsquare Media, the parent company of New Jersey 101.5, said Spadea can continue his show until he becomes a legally qualified candidate.

"However, we are sensitive to the legal parameters attendant keeping a broadcast personality on air while they are seeking public office," the company said in a written statement.

"Accordingly, we have taken steps and imposed guidelines to ensure that Bill’s on-air presence over the coming months and until he becomes a legally qualified candidate are in accordance with New Jersey election law, applicable FCC guidance, and industry standards and best practices for such circumstances."

Townsquare Media said it does not endorse any candidate for any office.

"At the same time, Townsquare will continue to uphold the values of integrity and community involvement personified by our team members."


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