November 9, 2023

Election Day Results

With almost all the results now counted from Tuesday's election, its clear that Democrats had a good night--and much better than they expected. After a very strong showing two years ago, when Gov. Murphy was almost defeated for reelection and Republicans gained several legislative seats, both Republican and Democratic leadership teams believed that Republicans were on track for gains in the Legislature, perhaps even getting close to a majority. Instead, Democrats held all their seats and flipped 5 seats in the Assembly and 1 seat in the state Senate. In January, Democrats will have a 25-15 majority in the Senate and a 51-29 majority in the Assembly. 

Republican Senator "Ed the Trucker" Durr, who defeated the prior Senate President Steve Sweeney in one of the biggest upsets in NJ history, lost his reelection bid to former Asm. John Burzichelli, who also pulled his two Assembly running mates over the finish line. Monmouth Democratic Sen. Vin Gopal, who had been the number one target for Republicans, won in a massive landslide while also carrying his running mates to victory over Republican Assemblywomen Marilyn Piperno and Kim Eulner. In maybe the strangest race of the cycle, one of the most Republican districts in the state elected a Democrat to the Assembly. About half the district is Lakewood, with a huge Orthodox Jewish community, and they decided to endorse a local Rabbi, Avi Schnall, to run as a conservative Democrat. With a huge turnout in Lakewood he was able to defeat Republican Ned Thomson. 

Democrats had a few advantages going in to the election. They were mostly running incumbents who had spent years building up their reputations and raising money, while most Republican candidates were newcomers to politics and largely anonymous. Democratic outside groups also had much more money than Republicans, so Democrats in the big five competitive races outspent their opponents anywhere between 3:1 to 5:1. Their biggest advantage though may have been their embrace of mail-in voting (they did write the law creating it after all). The average turnout across the state was about 24%, but in the most heavily targeted districts turnout was as high as 34%. Those extra voters seem to disproportionately have been Democrats who were targeted by the Democratic campaigns for the nearly two months before Election "Day", which clearly is no longer just one day of voting anymore. 

One thing worth noting is that virtually every one of the successful Democratic candidates--Burzichelli, Moriarty, Gopal, and Lagana--all publicly came out in opposition of the Governor's plan to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles in a few years, and no doubt part of the reason for their success is that they publicly distanced themselves from the controversial energy policies of the Governor. 

You can look up the results in your district if you'd like by clicking HERE

New Opportunity for EV Fast Charger Grants

This week we learned of another opportunity you may be interested in to secure free grant money to subsidize the cost of installing an EV fast charger. The grant opportunity comes from the Board of Public Utilities, and is focused on sites that are in an area connected to tourism. That's proven to be a pretty vague criterion, but if you are interested and have a location near an area that could be considered a tourism destination, specifically one of the many places listed in the state's tourism website HERE, it might be worth your time to apply while you can. 

We were alerted to this grant opportunity by our MBP FreeWire, which not only sells and installs fast chargers but also applies for all the possible grants and tax credits on your behalf. Even after all the grants, this particular funding opportunity will still likely leave you with a cost of around $50,000. There will be more opportunities for grants in the future, mainly through the money provided by the Biden Administration, but that is still years off and while it may be more generous in terms of money, it looks like it will also require more chargers be installed in order to get any funding at all, and it may not be worth taking up that much space on your property. There could also be a market advantage to getting in first in your area.

The deadline for the initial application is early December, so if you are interested you should start the process ASAP. You can always back out of the installation, even if the application gets selected. 

If you'd like more info please reach out to Nick at 732-256-9646 or 

Watch Our Latest Webinar on Franchise Law Protections:

Thanks again to Marisa Rauchway and Mauro Tucci from CSG Law, one of our Member Benefit Partners and one of the state's top law firms, for engaging in an interesting and informative discussion of the protections small business owners have under federal and state franchise law. If you missed the discussion, you can now download it to watch at your convenience by clicking HERE

If you have any questions from watching please reach out to and if he can't answer he'll get them for you.

Right to Repair Progress

There was more progress in the fight to enshrine a Right to Repair into federal law this week. The bill moved forward in the House Energy & Commerce Committee. It's a welcome piece of news to see bipartisan support for this bill given how brutally divided Congress has been the last few weeks. However, the top Democrat on the Committee is NJ Representative Frank Pallone, and he had some comments saying he felt the bill needed more work before it should be passed, even though he supports the overall concept. We are in the process of trying to schedule a meeting with the Congressman's top staff. When we do, we will need some repair shop owners to attend with real world stories of why this bill is necessary. Particularly if you live or have a shop in Middlesex or eastern Monmouth counties, please email me so we can possibly invite you to the virtual meeting. If you can't attend, even just write up some horror stories about the problems you've seen from not having access to the data on modern vehicles. One of the main arguments from the auto manufacturers has been that there is no problem and that repairers have access to all the data they need. Please email

You can also email your member of Congress about the issue HERE.

Also on Tuesday, the people of Maine passed a referendum guaranteeing access to vehicle data with a whopping 84% of the vote. Maine joins Massachusetts, and shows just how popular Right to Repair is--there's not a lot these days that more than 80% of voters can agree on! 

Tobacco Compliance Webinars:

We were just alerted to two resources that tobacco retailers may find useful. One is a video discussing tips for retailers when it comes to undercover inspections, watch HERE. The other involves some tips about legally proper advertising, which you can view HERE. Both were created by the FDA and are only about 12 minutes long. 

Member Benefit Partner Spotlight: Boulder Petroleum

Boulder is a family owned and multi-faceted petroleum contractor that is licensed in the state of New Jersey. They provide:

Installation and Removal: Boulder has installed, removed, and decommissioned USTs and ASTs systems.

Repairs and Maintenance: Boulder has the capability to project manage any job big or small, site development, installation of emergency generators, concrete flat/footing work, fuel verification, marina fuel services. They are a certified mechanic to repair STP sumps and UDC pans or boxes that has failed hydrostatic testing with Armor Shield, Service, and calibration dispensers.

Monthly & Annual Compliance Testing: Hydrostatic testing, monthly inspections, annual testing, tank tightness testing for commercial/residential real estate transactions and insurance certification.

For more info contact Anthony Tedeschi, 732-751-0154 or

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*The average price on 11/8 was the lowest price of 2023*

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Our Road Warrior newsletter is brought to you by the following Member Benefit Partners:

New Jersey Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association
615 Hope Road, Bldg. 2, 1st Floor
Eatontown, NJ 07724


Phone: 732-256-9646