Gov. Murphy Makes It Official: Central Jersey Exists

By: Paige Britt, Follow South Jersey Intern

Governor Murphy signs legislation designating a “Central Jersey” tourism region via the Division of Travel and Tourism at the Wallace House & Old Dutch Parsonage State Historic Site, Somerville NJ, Thursday August 24 2023. (Rich Hundley III/Governor’s Office)

SOUTH JERSEY – In New Jersey, there are some things that have been long and greatly debated; Taylor Ham vs. pork roll, sub vs. hoagie, the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the New York Giants. All of these questions essentially determine if a person is from North or South Jersey. One question that these two groups of people can seem to agree on is this: Does Central Jersey exist? While the consensus seems to be an astounding no from the North and South, Governor Phil Murphy has something else to say on the topic. 

On August 24 Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill declaring that Central Jersey exists in order to promote state tourism. The Division of Travel and Tourism was ordered to redraw the state tourism map in order to officially specify the region of Central Jersey. Central Jersey is currently defined as including Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset counties. Union and Ocean counties are still unofficially claimed and a part of the ongoing “Central Jersey” debate. 

Governor Murphy defended the decision to recognize Central Jersey, noting the area’s history and beauty. 

“Today, we settle the decades-old debate once and for all: Central Jersey exists,” Gov. Murphy said in a press release. “The region has a rich history dating back to the American Revolution, with a legacy graced by historical figures like George Washington. And today, Central Jersey is home to some of the nation’s leading public universities and host to beautiful agricultural landscapes and activities for tourists to immerse themselves in. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to share these wonders with the world.”.

As for residents in Central Jersey, they are ecstatic to be recognized as their own region. Eric Miller, born and raised in Jackson, New Jersey, explained the excitement felt amongst himself and his neighbors over the decision. 

“This is great news and is currently being celebrated all across Central Jersey,” Miller said. “Central Jersey is prepared to take on the role of mediator between heavily debated North and South Jersey topics, including (but not limited to) the pork roll vs. Taylor ham debate.”

While the people of North, South, and now Central Jersey, may never truly find common ground, there is one thing all New Jerseyans can agree on; their love of Wawa.

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