Yeah, you may consider New Jersey true blue.
But the Republican Party in our state is not only alive and well -- it's also dotted with conscientious, independent minded elected officials who aren't afraid to listen to the people, stand up for taxpayers and lead the way to the kind of reforms that will create a brighter future for all.
In alphabetical order, here are five of the very best -- plus one:
1) Diane Allen - A pioneering broadcaster, a distinguished trailblazer and a fearless state senator, Diane Allen is one of New Jersey's most honored public servants. Now closing out an historic career, she stands right there alongside Millicent Fenwick as a giant of selfless service to the citizens of the Garden State. Truly irreplaceable!
2) Jennifer Beck - She led the battle against the onerous gas tax hike and that's not all. State Senator Jen Beck is a bright shining star on New Jersey's political horizon who's smart, savvy and diligent every step of the way. Bravo!
3) Gerald (Gerry) Cardinale - Always fighting the good fight, Senator Cardinale has championed common-sense conservative values for as long as we can remember. To call him legendary would be an understatement. Inimitable, scrappy and truly courageous!
4) Michael Patrick Carroll - Our favorite legislative Facebook commentator, this state assemblyman always hits the target. He's an indefatigable defender of limited government, budgetary control and rugged individualism. What a refreshing oasis of common sense he provides!
5) Joe Pennacchio - If you contact him, he will get back to you and he will do everything he can to help you. He's that personal, that responsive and that committed. And, Senator Pennacchio's a constant advocate for all the things we believe in as well. The best!
And, one more, just for good measure: Jay Webber. He not only looks the part but this outstanding state assemblyman acts the part as well. Matt Rooney has called him "the conservative conscience of the state legislature" and that's good enough for us!
So, if and when people tell you that New Jersey doesn't really have any genuine, responsive, rational Republican leaders, point to these six and tell them they don't know what they're talking about. The GOP bench in our state is rich, it's deep and it also holds bright promise for the future.